Cyclists are hot. I don't mean this in the sense that they have buttocks like a dead heat in a cannonball race, I just mean that unless you're dawdling along or there's a bitter wind, your problem with the temperature is having too much of it, so you'll quickly replace the goal of trying to get your fastest time to work with that of your driest. That said, the buttocks thing is true.

Even if you're trying to be lazy, you're going to get fit by mistake. You only need to be healthy enough to work to be able to cycle. You don't need to start out fit,since if your ride gets tiring, windy or steep you can always just pop down a gear and spin along patiently until you're there, fixie/singlespeed types excepted. .ninja kittenHowever, every time you're late for work because you lose your keys or the kids are slow or whatever, you'll not feel all the impotent frustration that you used to feel when waiting for a bus(and then being on the bus as it stops once every six inches) or driving your car because the only things limiting your speed are the limitations of your lungs and heart.

Unlike a bus passenger or a driver, you can legally administer a damn good kicking right there and then to the things holding you up, the workshy allegedly oxygen-carrying bastards. The result is that a scant few weeks down the line, the hills that used to scare you barely raise a pulse, and your legs need the merest suggestion to keep on truckin'.

It's like a ninja that sneaks up on you in feline silence and tears your heart clean out your chest. Then replaces it with a better one.

The different strands of cycling are like different languages. Being a master of one is no guarantee of any working knowledge of the others, and ignorance of a foreign tongue is no indicator of ignorance in their native. There are Tour de France winners who won't have the faintest clue who makes good suspension for a mountain bike, BMX tricksters who can apprently turn off gravity but wouldn't know a decent derailleur if it bit them on their baggily shorted ar[i]se, and deskbound commuters who you'd never rate as gurus but do in fact know everything about the easy way into the office and the best steed to do it.

Enthusiastic cyclists don't know what one bike is best for a basic commuto-pootler. It's been so long since the n+1 disease hit them they can't conceive of only owning two wheels. You might as well ask Hugh Hefner about monogamy.

Drop down a gear. It took the drastic step of owning a low-geared single speed bike before I realised just how much better it is to spin than mash. This isn't true for fixed gear bikes going downhill, but they're odd wee things that are unapologetically impractical for that purpose, and it's true for everything else. Given my background was training for one single lift, I'd imagine I was as much of a masher as it's possible to be, but even I now know that's silly. As the saying goes: you pedal a bike, not push it. See also: spin to win.


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