In yesterdays post I posed the question, "What is it that makes us cyclists so different?" Today, I want to look at this a bit more closely. As I also mentioned yesterday, there are specific reasons that cyclists are so different; as many reasons as there are cyclists, probably. I want to look at it in a bit broader terms today.
Some things cyclists do can be chalked up to just being competitive. You know, striving to be the best at whatever discipline you choose. Working to beat even your self. That's not necessarily a cycling thing, but is certainly a part of all of us.
What I'm thinking of is the things that don't seem to make any sense on the face of things. Take single speeding for instance. Or endurance racing, or self supported, ultra endurance events, and other such "crazy" pursuits. Even things like helping out a fellow cyclist that you don't even know, when his rig gets pipped with all it's gear. Or how about all of these things wrapped up into one: him to do the same thing you are. Single speeding on an ultra endurance course , self supported, to help out a cyclist in need and encourage him to enter next years GDR.
The common thread I see here is the willingness to overcome hardship, whether it be self imposed, ( fixed gear, single speed, self supported racing) or imposed upon us from without, ( terrain, weather, mechanicals, physical issues, social misfits, etc...) There is a certain quality that some of us cyclists seem to have that sets us aside from the rest. We seem to gravitate towards this challenge of overcoming hardships and relate to the others that choose this same path. It's not really competition, because that can entail so much that is ugly about human nature. It's more about a personal, inner satisfaction that can only come from getting to the other side. The other side of the course, the mountain, the pain, or whatever the journey might entail.
It's certainly something that makes us all weird to the rest of our families, friends, and aquaintences. They just do not get it. They ask us "Why?", and we just shrug our shoulders and give them the blank stare, because we know they just won't get it. I can't even put my finger on it.
I guess you just have to be there! (shrugging shoulders and staring blankly)