Do you ever get the feeling some sports are all about what you’re wearing and not what you’re actually doing? I feel that cycling tips into this category. Branded clothing, the ‘best’ bike, coolest GPS – the list goes on. And if you don’t have all this you are not a real cyclist are you?
Well this view makes me feel defiant. I like to wear my husband’s tops (too big, but hey, who cares?) no cycling shorts (not really my best idea) borrowed orange glasses, borrowed Garmin, running leggings and my trusty Giant bike. In other words, I have been getting out on my bike without all the gear and I’ve actually been cycling, not trying to impress others with my average speed or my Strava stats. Because seriously, it’s me versus the road.
I was once told a story about a bike group which met most weekends to cycle around the nearby countryside. Shall we say a ‘friend’ of mine joined them for their weekly ride, to see what they were all about. Now this friend is a regular cyclist and fast too. But he got dropped off the back of the group. When they all went for a coffee at the end of the ride my friend put his helmet on the table, cue the comment ‘We don’t do that’. What? Do you take yourself so seriously you’d not only let a newbie drop off the back of your group of cyclists, you also have infantile rules about where you can and can’t park your head gear? Remember people, all the gear, no idea.
So here’s a word to the serious try-to-impress-each-other cyclists: carry on doing what you do; for me a bike ride is about sticking together, looking out for each other, exercising and having a good time. If that’s your game, sit at the table with me, have a coffee and perhaps move your helmet, as it could get covered in crumbs from my flapjack.