Friday, June 27, 2008

Variations on a theme

The first from a comment on quickrelease.tv , the second from Sam's blog way way back. Melded together the'd work better. I'll get round to it sometime.

Ladies and gentleman, doing the commute of '08 : Ride a bicycle!

If I could offer you only one tip for the future; cycling would be it. The long term benefits of bikes have been proven by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering rides.I will dispense this advice now...

Enjoy the power and beauty of your bike
Oh, never mind.
You'll not understand the power and beauty of your bike until you've stopped riding it, but trust me, in twenty years you'll look back at photos of yourself you'll recall in a way you can't grasp now how much fitter and how fabulous you really looked.

You were faster than you remember.

Worry about the future.
Worry, but know that just worrying is about as effective as trying to solve climate change by driving a 4x4 in town.

The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind.The kind that side swipes you at 5:30 on the homebound commute.

Do one thing every day that scares you.
Sing.

Don't be reckless at traffic lights and junctions.
Don't put up with drivers who are reckless with you.

Grease.

Don't waste your time on traffic jams: sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind.
The ride is long and in the end its only with yourself.

Remember the compliments you receive; forget the Congestion Charge.
When you succeed in doing this, tell EVERYONE.

Patch your old inner tubes, recycle your old tires.

Stretch.

Don't feel guilty if you don't know what bike to ride, the most interesting people I know didn't know at 7am what they wanted to do with their commute. Some of the most interesting 40 year old's I know just get out and ride.

Take plenty to drink.

Be kind to your knees, you'll miss them when they're gone – so don't ride singlespeed.

Maybe you'll race, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll go touring, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll ride off road at 45, maybe you'll ride a velodrome 'Taster' on your Stag Night.

Whatever you do don't congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself either. Your safety is THE priority, so is everybody else's.

Enjoy your bike, use it every way you can. Don't be afraid of it or what other people think of it.It's the greatest instrument you'll ever own.

Turbo-train, even if you have nowhere to do it but your own living room.

Read the Sustrans directions, even if you don't follow them. Do not read cycling magazines, they will only make you go buy another bike.

Get to know your byways, you never know when they'll be gone for good.

Be nice to your brakes,they're your best friend on the road, and the item most likely to save you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but with practice they too could ride to work.

Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and cycling style.

The older you get the more you need gears and the lungs you had when you were young.

Ride in London once,but leave before it makes you hard. Ride in northern England once,but leave before it makes you live there.

Travel.

Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise,tires will puncture.

You too will get old and when you do you'll fantasize that when you were young bicycle were reasonable, tires never punctured and it never rained on long rides.

Respect old Hillclimbers, don't expect anyone else to tow you.

Maybe you'll have a road bike.Maybe you'll have a hybrid.But you never know when either one might need maintenance.Don't mess too much with gear indexing or when you are due a chain, you'll need rings as well.

Be careful whose lube you buy,but be patient with those who supply it.

LBS's are a form of nostalgia dispensing things from an Aladdin's Cave- wiping off the muck & fixing the tired components.Ebay just recycles them for more than they are worth.

But trust me - on the riding!

Sam's:

Ladies and gentlemen of the community of cyclists... wear lycra.
If I could offer you only one tip for the future, lycra would be it. The long-term benefits of lycra have been proved by professional cyclists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they've faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you'll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked.

You are not as fat as you imagine.

Don't worry about converting the drivers. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by ingesting a packet of Gu. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 p.m. on your Tuesday commute.

Do one thing every day that scares you.

Spin.

Don't be reckless with other people's bikes. Don't put up with people who are reckless with yours.

Lube.

Don't waste your time on stoplight sprints. Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. The race is long and, in the end, it's only with yourself.

Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old PowerLinks. Throw away your old PowerBars.

Stretch.

Don't feel guilty if you don't know where you want to go on your ride. The most interesting people I know didn't know at two miles where they wanted to go on their rides. Some of the most interesting 40 mile rides I know still don't go anywhere.

Get plenty of carbohydrates. Be kind to your knees. You'll miss them when they're gone.

Maybe you'll mountain bike, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll have a fixed gear, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll have to push a 39, maybe you'll dance the funky chicken on your your pedals like Lance Armstrong climbing L'Alpe D'Huez.

Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else's.

Enjoy your bike. Use it every way you can. Don't be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It's the greatest instrument ever invented.

Pedal.

Even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.

Read the cue sheet, even if you don't follow them.

Do not read bicycling magazines. They will only give you upgrade fever.

Get to know your bike shops. You never know when they'll be gone for good. Be nice to your mechanics. They're your best link to a smooth drivetrain and the people most likely to fix it when it starts to grind.

Understand that riders come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on.

Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the better you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were a newbie.

Bike in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard.
Bike in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.

Travel.

Accept certain inalienable truths: Hills will rise. Pacelines will splinter.

You, too, will get tired. And when you do, you'll fantasize that when you were fresh, hills were reasonable, pacelines stayed intact and cyclists respected their drafts.

Respect your drafts.

Don't expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a windless route. Maybe you'll have a friend willing to pull. But you never know when either one might run out.

Don't mess too much with your hair or by the time you take off your helmet it will look like you were a band member from the early 1980s.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth.

But trust me on the lycra

1 comment:

Fritz said...

Yep, always remember that cycling is fun.