Saturday, October 2, 2010

Am I a cyclist?

So, several weeks ago a dear friend who knew I had recently gotten into cycling bought me a book entitled, "Bike Snob - Systematically & Mercilessly Realigning the World of Cycling." It's an irreverent, laugh-out-loud funny book. At first I was offended by the author's view of recumbent riders until I realized that he was pretty rough on every type of cyclist just for the fun of it. At that point, I just relaxed and went along for the ride, so to speak.

At one point in the book he attempts to define a cyclist. His initial definition is, "One who rides a bicycle, even when he or she doesn't have to do so." I would beg to differ with this definition. My definition would be more like, "One who rides a bicycle because they really, REALLY need to do so!!" I mean if I don't ride a certain number of miles during the week, things get ugly!!! So I guess by my modified definition I certainly qualify as a cyclist. He then amends the definition to include the caveat that the person "must value the act of riding the bicycle over the tools one needs in order to do so." In other words, if you are so worried about your bike that you won't ride it because you might scratch the paint - you really aren't a cyclist. Well, by this definition I am DEFINITELY a cyclist. A good friend likes to tease me that my bike should have come with the gallon-sized jug of touch-up paint as opposed to the small vial provided.

However, yesterday morning I was scheduled to go for a ride with a local group of upright riders (more on that group later.) As I was driving my daughter to school with the rain pelting down on the car, I kept hoping that the ride would be cancelled because I just didn't want to ride in the wet weather. This attitude doesn't strike me as the attitude of a true cyclist. On the flipside, I was walking with a friend this week and talking about how I really needed to figure out how to ride my bike through the winter. I voiced my concern about the cold but decided I'd be able to figure out how to dress appropriately to make it work. Unfortunately, I couldn't come up with a solution for how to ride in the snow and ice. When she recommended that I try cross-country skiing when I couldn't get out on my bike, I answered so despondently, "I guess I could do that," that she laughed uproariously.

So on this first day of October I find myself looking forward to riding during this beautiful time of the year, but at the same time I find that I am apprehensive about the fast approaching winter. I will be looking to you, my bike riding friends, to help me get through my first winter of riding. And I can tell you one thing for certain, whether you consider me a cyclist or not, NOBODY is going to want to spend much time with me this winter if we end up getting a lot of snow!!

Happy October,



  1. Have you thought about a second set of wheels with studded tires?

  2. From:

    "Riding on ice with studded tires is like walking on ice that's been lightly covered with sand. It's pretty safe. You're not likely to fall unless you do something stupid. . ."

    Hmmm. Can I really trust myself not to do something stupid? It would be so out of character. But, hey, it has been a while since I've had to pull out the gallon of touch-up paint! ;-)


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