27 Oct 2011

Bandha biking

Finally procured a road bike, been wanting one for years.  Someone was about to throw this away. I pleaded for it, she was determined it was too old and broken and it was to be disposed of. Nooooo! Managed to persuade her to let me have it, saying if it was a lost cause I would be more than happy to dispose of it.

When I went to collect it, it was in a terrible state. I took it home, wiped off the black grime and saw the blue paint. Mavic rims and cogs and parts looking good. The tubular tyres were disintegrating yet still stuck on to the rims.

Took a while and some elbow grease, new tyres, brakes, gear lever wire and a wipe down with thinners. Now, well to me, it's beautiful. Fast, light and most gratifyingly nimble.

Perfect with my theme for the year light and simple.

Although the first few rides gave me a very literal pain in the arse. Consulted with my cyclist friends. They proceeded to impart their knowledge to this fledging road cyclist with sore bottom.

They said to tilt the pelvis very slightly, lift the pelvic floor muscles and contract the area below the navel.

Ha! Mula and Uddiyana bandas! Cool, yoga practice while zooming around the city. And you know what? It works! As I focused on my bandhas while cycling home I felt the weight lift a little, the pressure was eased, and there was a slight increase in power. Of course like a good little sadhana (practitioner) add to the bandhas work, chin slightly tilted down, eyes lightly focused ahead, full concentration on the road and randomness that accompanies commuting on Japanese roads, deep rhythmic breathing and I have me a new little practice here. The biggest part of which is not getting totally pissed of at cars making attempts on my life. Ahimsa on the road, ha....gonna take some serious practice. But am practicing and it is coming, slowly.

As for the asana practice. This too is coming nicely, also slowly.  Oh needed an excuse to post a picture of the biggest tree in Yamagata.  Pretty cool.


  1. Nice ride! From a distance I thought you'd nicked my bike, road but standard handlebars, they are quick aren't they : ) once you get up to sped it feels effortless. Will try the cycling bandha tips in the morning.

  2. Ha! Yes, when I saw the picture of your bike I thought you'd obviously thought my bike was so cool you had to get the same ; ) ha ha think mine is late 80's. Am a little obsessed with it.. Do you have curved handle bars then? How are they? Never ridden with them.

  3. Mine's pretty old too and handlebars like yours...am mulling over bullhorns do you know them a cross between what we have and drops.

  4. Yeah, was thinking about them too, probably really good for up hill and chilling on long flats, but for now I think I'm gonna stick with my straight ones.....they look prettier, it's the girl in me ;)