Ya know, sometimes I get all proud and feelin' good about our sport of cycling. I hear a story of courage, triumph over pain, a path to fitness, or just seeing a youngster on a bike. Then again, I meet some people and I get all the air let out of me like a sucker punch from a bar room punk.
Take Friday for instance. A gentleman comes into the shop, and is looking over the road bikes. Looking with an intense kind of look that, after being in retail for as long as I have, tells me, this guy is ready to go for it. Okay! Here we go! I am thinking that this fellow is going to soon be enjoying the benefits that only cycling can bring. Well, that and having a huge chesire-like grin on his face, riding his new bike like a truant school child that just stole the rich kids new bike! Anyway, I get to talking to this guy, and within seconds, I'm left standing dumfounded. Check this out.
He tells me that he is looking for a new bicycle because his wife just backed over his old one with the van, turning it into a really cool abstract art project. Then he hits me with this. "I am going on that "river" ride. You know, the one that starts in New Orleans and comes up north? Well, I rode that Iowa 150 ride that one year, and I started training for that about 10 days before it started, so I thought I'd better get a new bike now because I have to leave for this ride in a couple of weeks. I better get in shape, ya know?" Yeah, rrriiiigggght!! WOW! What do you say? Maybe Lance was right all along. It's NOT about the bike, it's about the PAR-TEE!! DOH! All this time wasted waxing philosophical and all about the "mind clearing" and the "one-ness" with the pain, and the beauty of the simplicity! All wasted! I could have just been dumb and stupid and had another beer! I could have saved myself tons of money! I could have enjoyed the company of thousands of other lemmings totin' the Lite beer line, and drivin' a SUV, and suckin' down heaters! WOW! I really SUCK!! I really believe all this cycling crap! I'm really WAY into it!
What was I thinking?
Well, I don't know, but I'm sure glad I do! Wouldn't have it any other way. Is it a bike, or is it a toy? Maybe it's a lifestyle. Weird, yes! That's okay, but it's MY lifestyle, baby! I love it!
Out there: 2002 ITI flashback.
9 hours ago