‘Are you crazy?’ ‘No, I’m a cyclist.’

Every serious cyclist almost certainly has had conversations with puzzled friends and relatives about why they engage in a sport that can be physically demanding to the point of pain and usually offers only a meager reward – the satisfaction of accomplishing something very difficult, and maybe a cheap water bottle and T-shirt.
“Why would you want to spend two months riding a bicycle across the United States, hauling all your stuff on the bike and camping out in seedy RV parks?” a friend might ask. “If you want to do a bike trip, why not do it, say, in the Napa Valley. Ride a few miles a day from one winery to another, taste some wine and good food, and then spend the night at a nice bed-and-breakfast?”
A few years ago when I used to ride regularly in the annual Bicycle Tour of Colorado – five times between 1997 and 2002 – a work colleague was baffled that I would choose to spend my vacation torturing myself by riding more than 400 miles in a week through the high passes of the Rocky Mountains … and pay to do it.
“I’d be glad to beat you up side the head with a 2-by-4 in exchange for that ride fee,” he once joked.
So I got a kick out of a video animation called “Cycling Explained.” (Click on the link below.). It reminded me of all those conversations at work, with friends and at family gatherings.
“Bike rider. Cyclist. What’s the difference? You still ride a bike,” says the woman in the animation. The answer: “True. But ‘bike riders’ ride their bikes for fun, while a ‘cyclist’ rides to suffer and feel excruciating pain.”
There’s more than a grain of truth in that.




Filed under Americana, Cycling across America, Journeys, Training

2 responses to “‘Are you crazy?’ ‘No, I’m a cyclist.’

  1. Pingback: Just another ride … with 13,000 friends | Musings of Captain Justice

  2. And this same guy whines about needing bike lanes and says HE has no need of any bike Ed. Sheesh!

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