Random Observation/Comment #175: Bike riding used to be much less painful for my ass when I was younger. I’m not sure if it was the enthusiasm for peddling while standing, the shorter and more comfortable seat, or a more cushion-y blubber-butt, but I don’t remember having trouble walking and sitting down after an afternoon of bike riding. The effects of the intercity bicycle-adventure in Interlaken felt like… well, I’ll spare the vulgar references, and just simply put it as unpleasant. The sights were beautiful, but I’m not sure it’s worth the awkward stances and constant need to complain about a sore ass where more awkward silences ensue. I’m never really going for speed, so I’ll probably sit on a pillow next time. If you ever see a biker with a pillow duct-taped to his butt, that would be me (engineering innovation FTW).
Since it costs about 8EUR for Eurailpass travelers to take a train to the top of the small villages near the intermediate stations on the side of the mountain, I decided to save the money and rent a bike to ride around town with Olly. The weather was not ideal for mountain-watching, and I was craving that bicycle injection into my life. I remember my Japan experiences with bicycles and expected something similar. Given the lakeside view and lack of tiring uphill climbs, I would say that this was better.
The bicycle costs in Interlaken are approximately 4EUR base with 2EUR for additional hours. The one that I rented happened to be a fifteen-speed with kickass gear shifters. Quantity of gears is definitely something I liked about the design, but I don’t think I ever used it to the fullest potential. Professional bike racers can maintain their speed because they know which gears to use that let them peddle at a constant pace. Based on the terrain and different inclines, the rider could change the gear ratio to adjust properly to prevent early fatigue.
My personal experience with professional cycling is limited (actually zero), so really, I would have preferred the basket in the front, if not to hold my backpack, than to be cool by being completely ridiculed. It’s just like me to bring on the hipster status by starting new trends that are obviously terrible; but it’s done to prove the point that we’re creative. The weird part is that the hipster dress code has become a trend amongst artists and architects, so they’ve become the corporate tools that they passionately avoided (nooooo twilight zone).
Anyway, I don’t need 15 speeds: I only really needed 3 because those are the only ones I used. It took too much time to change gears and I would rather just exert the little extra energy to feel the burn. Besides, I was not racing against time or wearing any aerodynamic helmets with spandex tights; this was the equivalent of a leisure stroll, not a marathon. When I was tired, I stopped. When I saw picture-opportune moments (which was very often), I took the time to find the right angles.
My particular biking path was a combination of getting lost and following the biggest lake we could find (which, I guess wasn’t difficult to spot). We accidentally got onto a highway going towards Thun and just went with it. Most of the roads were just connecting between small towns, but the real treasures are the small pit stops near houses that had a full-lake view. I know everyone thinks about this, but I really could have retired here purely based on the scenery out of my bathroom window. I could imagine waking up to a windless morning with crystal clear reflections of the mountains in the water. These views were absolutely stunning. This would probably give me an erection. Did I mention how difficult it is to ride a bike with an erection? It’s hard (hah).
~See Lemons with a Sore Buttocks