This has little or nothing to do with clydes or athenas, but it's interesting anyway, so I thought I'd post it. We have from time to time folks with 'sedentary habits' joining us.
From the New York Times in 1896:
"Henry Chadwick, the father of baseball, is seventy-two years of age, but not too old to ride a bicycle. He only recently learned to pedal, but now he does it like a veteran . Speaking of learning to ride, Mr. Chadwick says: " I began taking instructions early in May, and I had calculated that a dozen hour lessons would suffice, but I was surprised to find that I was able to ride the wheel alone at the end of my second lesson. The chief obstacle was that of mounting the wheel alone, and it took five more practice sessions before I was successful. I thought my velocipede experience would have aided me, but it did not, so I had to begin at the beginning, as it were, and in the short course of instruction I found that there were more points to be attended to than I had anticipated. In the first place, the physical condition of the novice has a great deal to do with the time required to become an expert. If one has been accustomed to exercise, especially of a pedestrian nature, then half the battle has been won it the outset. But if the novice is a person of sedentary habits, possessing flabby and unexercised muscles, his task in learning is necessarily doubled, for he has to get his muscular system trained to the new movements to begin with, and this alone requires a preliminary course of practice before he can learn the first rudiments of the art itself. This is why there is so great a difference shown in the time required to become an adept-a well-trained athlete learning to ride in a few hours, while another, unused to muscular exercise, ,will require weeks of practice before he can ride."