Tuesday, May 04, 2010


I pity them, I really do.

There they go, passing by me in their plastic stretchy tights, their uncomfortable shoes with metal tabs on the bottom, panniers full of their work clothes, I guess, neon coats over jerseys advertising some sort of product or another, and besides that, they’re all riding as fast as they can, suffering, really, like Tyler Hamilton in the 2005 Tour de France, gritting his teeth so hard he had to get all his teeth capped.

This is the thing, you see, bicycling doesn’t have to be something you can only do after you get all dressed for it; a person can wear his everyday clothes and still get from one place to another on two wheels, especially if, like me, he or she goes relatively slowly and decides to enjoy more or less whatever presents itself.

I found today’s commute out and back to school surprisingly difficult; I kept looking at the bushes on the side of the trail to see if I was fighting a headwind, but none of them were leaning; apparently, I had no excuse for being so weak other than being weak. Nevertheless, I made it both ways, albeit with a stop for a couple of beers to enable me to ascend the last couple hills this afternoon.

But see: I didn’t have to change clothes or anything to look relatively normal at the bar; I didn’t have to sit there with my nuts hanging out of my polyester pajamas; all I had to do was remove my helmet and I looked as normal as I ever do.

Now, maybe if I wore cycling-specific clothing, I could ride faster, but then I’d have to do so. In my jeans and regular shoes, I can manage to remain at a pace that’s sustainable and which prevents me from finding excuses not to ride.

I’m glad all those people are so into cycling; it’s sad, though, they look like it.


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