DO YOU HAVE A CYCLING CODE? You know, what do you live by? What are you must haves/dos? Well, you probably do... whether or not you give it much thought. I thought I'd take a few moments to flesh mine out.
1. Compete. I like to have at least 1 big, key event on the horizon. It's got to be gnarly enough to scare me - can I do it?. Or, prestigious enough to demand my best. Ideally, it's both. I like this because it keeps me motivated to seek optimal health for me and my machine.
2. Have fun. While I like to slay and be slain on a group ride as much as the next guy, it's the other rides that keep things fresh. The rides where work on my wheelie skills - after all these years I'm still terrible - or jump curbs or see how far I can skid my back tire. These rides have no agenda other than feeling the wind on my face.
3. Make friends. I have met so many amazing people on the bike. Many have become my best friends. While we like to ride hard, most of the time we are just cruising along talking about life and how things are going. Along the way we learn about each others' family, career, interests... we get to know another wonderful human being.
4. Maintenance. I know enough to do the basics on my bike. A lot of peace can be found in the garage with a wrench and a rag. I wouldn't say I'm a neat freak, but my road bike is generally pretty tidy. The mountain bike I prefer to leave dusty, except for the drive train - that's always got to be pristine.
5. Loyal. I'm loyal to my local bike shop, not in a sheepish way. Some of my best memories as a kid are walking into Fullerton Bikes. There's nothing like the smell of a bike shop. A mixture of new bikes and greasy hands. It can't be, but when I reflect on those days every single bike was red and faster than mine. I hope they all make it in this new retail world.
6. Road vs Dirt. I spend about half my time on the road and half on the dirt. The mix depends on what my "big event" is going to be - dirt event more dirt, road event more road. I can't say I like one more than the other. My best results have been racing downhill on an MTB and crits and circuits on the road. But, I really do like it all.
7. Ride with rockets. On the hard effort days I try and hang with the fastest guys around. I learn a lot more by getting beat than by being number one. Even on the easy days, riding with the best guys means there's time to talk and learn.
8. Bike fit. Bike fit is way more important than most people realize. I've never understood why people will spend $5000+ on a bike, then ride 500 hours in a year and never optimize the position for comfort and power. It's the best investment you can make after proper training. Trust me, that bike isn't going to win a race unless you are at your best.
9. Rest. I choose Sunday as my off day, it's partly for religious reasons and partly for perspective. I have an addictive personality and cycling can become an addiction. I know when it's getting out of hand by how much I want to blow off the day I've chosen to dedicate to my family and spiritual life... I guess I feel it helps my keep my feet on the ground.
10. Food. Whenever possible, I eat whole foods. I stay away from processed food, and baked goods. But, I'll never say no to ice cream.
There's probably more, minor codes out there for me. But, these are the top 10.
What is your code?
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