This is a shameless attempt to save the the most advanced civilization in
history from imminent self destruction by eliminating carbon emission,
dependence on foreign sources of fuel,obesity, hypertension and diabetes.
Cycling accomplishes all those things at once and helps us develop a better
understanding of ourselves, each other and our relationship to the cosmos.

Oh, horse puckey!
I like to ride bikes, have been doing it all my life.
The rest of that crap is just a fringe benefit,
and the blogosphere gives me a chance to share my interior
monologue with virtual rather than imaginary friends.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Alien life form

         I realized how completely alien I am to the average american cyclist.   I was in a local bike shop picking up some chain lube (Rock 'n Roll, I've never tried it, people say it's ok).  Along came a "serious" cyclist.  He's been at this a number of years he said and was preparing for a big charity ride.  He needed the bike mechanics to decide if he needed new tires.  Yep, the "serious" rider needed the bike shop kid to make that decision.  I listened as he explained his strategy for "attacking" the upcoming ride and not make the mistakes he had made in previous rides so he could improve his speed.  He went on to brag that he expected to break 3,000 miles this year.  By then, the owner had come around and, knowing me quite well, stood back with a secret smile anticipating what I might say.  I told the guy that I really don't keep track of mileage but guessed that I passed 3,000 miles sometime in April.  He was amazed, but then I told him I take a different attitude towards riding,
I go places on my bike.
He was perplexed. 
        He stared, the owner laughed,the "serious" cyclist was still staring at me as I walked out the door and rode away on one of my prize bikes
which looks nothing like his carbon crotch rocket.
      It goes deeper than that.  In my quest to "go places" I have replaced the need for speed with conservation of energy.  When I see a hill, I don't jump from the saddle and attack to save my average speed.  I decide which gear will get me up with the least amount of energy.  Years of touring have taught me to reach my destination with some gas in the tank so I can enjoy where I have gone.  
    That kinda gets me to the latest greatest thing, riding with GPS, whether it's Garmin, Strava, RwGPS Map my Life or whatever else has come up lately, they leave me cold.   I plotted a new map of a ride to our club's RwGPS account and hated myself for doing it.  It took hours to figure out how to turn the damn app off.  What a pain in the butt, who cares where I actually went?  I think that stuff is good for the compulsive competitor, it gives them a constant outlet, some recognition they crave and is healthier and cheaper than golf, although probably just as time consuming.   At least with expensive gadgets people are likely to get out more often than the weekly club rides, although they seem compelled to ride the same routes to compete with their friends rather than trying to just enjoy a trip going somewhere.

Mileage goals are counterproductive.  Just ride your bike, enjoy the ride and you will ride more often.  Possibly, you'll gain more from it.


  1. Omg, your post made me chuckle! We have the same attitude about cycling.