Biking around and trailing the toddler is all very well, until you hurt your lower back pushing those pedals, and then have to pick up said toddler. And when I say "you" here, I mean "me" (don't you love the vagueness of the impersonal second person, or "generic you").
The resident expert advised me to pedal faster at lower gears, and to spin the pedals around rather than push them down. Apparently RPMs of more than one per second are common for real cyclists. I started saying "Left, right, left right" to myself to try to get a feel for this rhythm, and it seemed reasonable until I actually got on the bike again and tried to pedal that fast. It feels too fast! Will definitely take some getting used to.
While this may all be very logical and reasonable, it's evidently not what I'm used to. When we were kids we used to have durable, stiff bikes and we'd stand up on the pedals alternately to get moving, putting our full weight on each slow stroke. Besides, the seats were torn up anyway by mistreatment, so why even sit on the seat. I think when I was thirteen, or maybe even twelve, my parents got me a full-size men's mountain bike, figuring it was the last bike they'd buy me before I moved out. It lasted me through university too as I recall. Of course it didn't fit me -- frames for men are too long for most female torsos -- but we didn't know any better about that either.
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