|My new Gunnar purchased Nov. 2012.|
As I look into the new year and where I want to go with my cycling I have been looking at what worked last year, what didn't work, my successes, disappointments, and where I want to go with my riding in the future. To do that I have decided to write a manifesto to shape my approach to the bicycle.
I plan to add to this blog post over time.
Here is my cycling manifesto:
- A bicycle is a tool, and it is more than a tool. It is both and each. And, it is more. A bicycle is:
- A toy that can transport us back to our childhood.
- A statement that health matters.
- A statement that the environment matters.
- An object of functional art and craftsmanship, an aesthetic.
- An extension of oneself, of being one with the machine and the road.
- It doesn't matter how far or how fast you go. No matter how far or how fast you go, there will always be people who go further and faster.
- Finishing first does not matter, neither does finishing last. The last rider who completes the ride finishes ahead of everybody who didn't even try.
- It is not worth doing if you do not enjoy it. Contrary to popular belief there is no direct relationship between pain and gain. Pain is pain and gain is gain. No pain is no pain. It is okay to stop when it hurts. It is possible to achieve without hurting.
- Low gears are good things, REALLY low gears are great things. Sacrificing low gears for the sake of having high gears is silly. If you spin out your top gears going downhill you can always coast. If your gears are not low enough going uphill you are walking, or worse if you stand up and push a really high gear and break a crank, or pop your knee, you will not be riding at all and may be badly hurt.
- Cycling with friends is good. Cycling alone is good. They are just different types of good.
- Supported rides, like tours or event centuries, are only fun if you have a dedicated riding buddy or buddies. Carrying food is no big hassle. If I am going to ride alone I see no point in paying to do so.
- When I am riding with a friend, or friends, we ride as a group and stop as a group because we are riding to be together. Being together is the point!
- The best part of riding alone is not needing to suit anyone but yourself. Stopping to take a picture inconveniences nobody. The best part of riding together is being able to be together.
- A bike should be as reasonably light as reasonably possible but it MUST be as strong as it needs to be, to be safe and dependable. Safe and dependable are more important considerations than light and fast or pretty.