Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The speed of human movement

Last week my bride Catie and I were out in our kayaks paddling around a couple of times. As usual, she seems to be just cruising along and making good time while I keep falling behind. Then I have to really put some effort into it to catch up to her. It is sort of frustrating at times that I have to work so hard to keep up with her seemingly effortless gliding around on the water but I've begun to realize it's probably more to do with technique than brute force. Somehow she naturally has a much better manner in the kayak than I do.

In any event, paddling around got me to thinking: We do manage to make decent time in the kayaks. It's fast enough that you really see and feel like you're covering a pretty fair distance. Yet not so fast that everything off to the side is a blur. Slowing down to look at something, like a heron, is easily accomplished and we can get much closer than if we were in a boat with a motor. It seemed the right speed to be going. The speed of self-propulsion.

Of course I feel the same way about riding the bicycle. Whether I'm trying to prep for a race or if I'm just coasting around the neighborhood, the speed in which I'm able to push myself along seems to be about right.

Which is not to say I'm anti-vehicle. In fact I'd be a hypocrite of the largest order if I did say that. We own several motorcycles as well as my job depending on me driving all over several states. I grew up in a family who worked on, built up and raced vehicles in several venues. Yes I had a great time going fast in motorized vehicle. But when going at the speed at which I am responsible for just seems to be the right speed.

A case can be made for the kayak and bicycle being machines, or tools if you will. If I were to truly mobilize at the speed of human movement it's be by walking or swimming. 

Regardless, the speed of which I can propel myself satisfies my speed desire as well as being relaxing. I'm sure it's not the same for everyone else, nor for anyone else for that matter. It just works for me. Feel free to comment on what goes best for you.

Thanks for reading.

1 comment:

  1. "But when going at the speed at which I am responsible for just seems to be the right speed."

    Nice. Hope to meet you if you are gonna make Frankenbike.