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Bikexchange.com Column #2

Cyclological Youth

By Gianna Bellofatto

Have you ever noticed that when people are riding a bike they appear younger? This phenomenon is known as "Cycological Youth" or CY. It is a symptom of the Life is a Bike attitude. I had CY my entire adult life, and try as I may to grow older, I have remained young. You can get CY at any adult age and it is a certain guarantee to look and feel younger. Funny thing, people also treat you as if you're younger when you're on a bicycle.

I recall at 25 when I accidentally coasted in front of a driver in a parking lot. The driver looked about 20, halted to a stop and yelled out the window, "You stupid kid!" "Who are you calling a kid, kid?" I replied, then quickly pedaled away. Another time when I was in my thirties, a Sunday driver beeped his horn at me just after church and yelled, "Get off the road! You should be in church with your parents!" Drivers who stop me for directions are often surprised when I speak to them and realize I'm older than at first glance. Likewise, I'm equally surprised at their reaction. After all, don't they know I have CY?

Leave it to real children to recognize who the adults are on bicycles. Fifteen years ago it was more a rarity to see adults tooling around town on bikes. "Mommy, look at the lady on the bike," was a common exclamation I heard.

CY is not just a perceptual phenomenon. It truly is physical and spiritual. Most adults who remain physically active will tell you they feel fit and younger. Health statistics bear this out as well. Whether you're a runner, biker, swimmer, or hiker those endorphins kick-in and do produce a natural high that lifts the spirits.

Poet Robert Browning wrote, "Come grow old with me the best is yet to be..."

The Life is a Bike answer is "Come, grow young with me and ride a bike with thee." Throw away that expensive anti-aging cream. Your fountain of youth is probably leaning against a wall in your garage. Life is a Bike, and you're never too old to grow young.

Gianna Bellofatto is a freelance writer and cycling columnist. Her writing has appeared in Modern Collage, The American Citizen, and One Voice. Comments about the column can be emailed to JBWrites1@aol.com.

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