Friday, January 4, 2008

Excuse me, can you ride?

You can get flash new riding gloves for Christmas. You can wash six months worth of road grime from the chain with kero and replace it with magic dirt repelling oil. You can purchase new tires with a high thread count and a new pump to inflate them to a gazillion psi...

...but, to my ever loving disappointment, you still have to ride uphill to work, generally into a headwind.

I ride to work. Started years before we had the Noodle as a means of transportation as we were a one car family. I don't particularly enjoy it but have kept on as a fitness and cost saving measure.

In five years I haven't once 'gone for a ride' and this kind of puts me in the bottom of the pecking order of cyclists in bike shops. There are, to my mind, two types of people that work in bike shops.
The first is the Berserker: goatee, tattoos, eyebrow ring, considers a morning plummeting off cliffs time well spent.
The other is the Dandy: lycra clad, snakehips, EPO and latte swilling, considers a morning toiling up cliffs time well spent.
Both types seem to consider someone that rides for transport a dilettante.

Reminds me of a joke Dad tells about a young boxer from the country preparing for his first fight in the city. He asks his manager about his opponent; his fancy gloves, boots & mouthguard. To each question the manager explains the function of the item in question and how it aids his opponent in the fight. Finally the nervous bloke sees his opponent crossing himself, and he asks if that will also help.

'Not if he can't fight.' was the deadpan reply.



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