Somewhere in the last couple of years I ended up as a member of a bike page on Facebook. Its fun for quite a few reasons.
- I get to see photos and videos from cyclists all over the country and the world.
- I can share my photos with people who love riding the bike as much as I do.
- I learn a lot about cycling, types of bikes, and equipment
- I’ve given and gotten advice about different rides and routes
- I’ve met some fun people!
That being said, I am amazed (and I know I shouldn’t) about those who get all uppity with people…
Just like anywhere, people are weird. There are many who believe, “If you aren’t doing it the way I do it, then you are doing it wrong!” Cyclists are no exception!
There are some who will only ride carbon, others will ride only in a group with matching outfits, some will never ride on a road, some never on a bike path. Those who don’t clip in to the pedals are idiots, those that do are taking their lives in their own hands. Helmets are stupid, riding without one is stupid (OK this one I DO believe). Gotta go fast and break records, gotta own more than one bike, and mirrors are evil, or not!
Some people even get mad that when they wave at another cyclist, that person doesn’t wave back…
Then there were those who got mad at a friend of mine on the page who wishes everyone a great morning with a post about coffee. From those who got mad, you would think the world was coming to an end for the lack of a bike reference!
Lord! How can something so much fun cause so much drama!
I try to adhere to one rule: All miles are good miles.
Honestly, I don’t care how much or how little you ride. How fast or how slow. Single or tandem, honestly, I just like people to ride!
The following is a sample of the bikes and people I see in my travels.
There is only one thing these folks have in common. The trusty steed that they ride is pushed by pedals!
Every time they saddle up they are getting exercise. There is no better way to get healthy than to ride. If you don’t like hills, find a good flat bike path. Got kids? Get them a bike or carry them along. As you can see, even dogs can get in the act.
I have cyclists friends on very different ends of the Spectrum. Joe Kurmaskie (The Metal Cowboy) and Sarah Burch (Honoringmycompass) have, and continue to, cycle the world. My coworker Shar, on the other hand, rides to the store or the dry cleaners. All others are like me and fall in between. But again, we all get where we want to go, at the speed we want to get there, by pushing the pedals.
I firmly believe that a bike is the only real example of a time machine. When people saddle up for the first time in a long time, they can’t help but remember those rides as a child, before there was work, bills or a mortgage. As soon as the wind hits their faces, you see this smile! (as demonstrated by the most beautiful rider ever, my wife Michelle!)
One of my hopes for this blog is that it might inspire people to want to ride. If you are reading this and have considered getting a bike. Go for it! You can rent, borrow or buy one cheap on Craigslist. Then, be smart. Don’t go for a 30 mile ride day one. Go around the block, or along the trail for a bit. Get the feel of it.
Go to a park, and ride around a lake. Ride with the kids to school, or to the grocery store. The important part is just to get out and remember how much fun a bike can be! Once that happens who knows where you will end up!
Just remember ALL miles are GOOD miles. Using that mantra, you can and will come to love the bike! Better yet, you will leave all the stupid drama behind and just enjoy the ride on the time machine!