Wednesday, June 27, 2012
What is best in life?
This post was going to be called "Are you a Cyclist?"A sort of lame headline if you ask me. A provocative question to pose to the four readers who frequent this "blog" as I am sure they would all answer yes. But its something I have been thinking about lately. What does it mean to be a cyclist? And are you one? A person who skis maybe 4 times a year is a skier right? And a person who golfs maybe once a month is a golfer. And certainly if you have ever surfed you are a surfer. But a person who rides a bike isn't always a cyclist. Now are they? Why is that? Why is cycling the most elitist cannibalistic sport on the planet. Even the elitists fight with each other about who is more of an elitist.
Nothing slaps you in the face and wakes you up more about what being a cyclist is than going on vacation and riding a bike on a bike path. I took my daughter out day 2 of vacation on the Cape Cod Rail Trail. A fabulous rail trail by the way. I was in khaki shorts, sneakers and a t-shirt. I felt HORRIBLE. My ass hurt. My feet slipped all over the pedals. My neck hurt. No wonder why people hate cycling. But my daughter had a look on her face that was pure bliss. And her body position was like Georgia Gould. She had that look man. She wanted to race! I had to sort of get that idea out of her head with all the pathletes all around us like some kind of zombie apocalypse but it hit me. What is the best life? Or more to the point...what is the best ride? The one where a kid falls in love with cycling. That is the one.
Let's stop being elitists. Maybe we can't help it. I blame the 70s. This is a throwback from that generation. Ride a bike. Love it. Try and make it be part of your life. Teach a kid to ride. And not just to ride but to love it. Smile. Wave. It makes a difference. I love all the crazy people who are cyclists. I love the PROs. I love the pathletes. I love team Hi-Vis. I love the charity riders. Zoe and I have had some great rides on this vacation so far. Its been some of the best riding I have ever done. On a path. In khakis and had ZERO fitness benefit.
So what is the best life? Its not crushing your enemies and hearing the lamentations of their women. Its raising cyclists and supporting each other. No matter what. Racer. Club rider. Soul rider. Mountain biker. We are all cyclists. And none of us, not the PROs, not the advocates, not the industry insiders, none of us are more important or know more about what is good for the sport than anyone else who rides. I am all for heckling each other about what we wear or how we ride or what equipment choice we have decided is going to save cycling but step back once and a while and just appreciate what we have. Seeing cycling through the eyes of a child or through the eyes of an adult who is now getting a second childhood thanks to cycling is a gift.