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There’s Ample Room in Cycling for Every Kind of Cyclist…


There’s ample room in cycling for every kind of cyclist, but please don’t try to convince me that your way is the best, brightest or greenest.  It would be like the nail telling the hammer it’s about to get pounded into the wood.  More than a little silly.

I am, without a doubt, an enthusiast of sharp road race bikes.  I am the happy owner of a wonderful, if small, stable of excellent bikes ranging from road to mountain.

I’m not too flashy, but I’m close enough for government work. I like ’em cool and my bikes are that, especially the two newest additions to the stable.

I don’t, however, see the beauty in the randos, commuters, leisure bikes or those God-awful bike share thingamabobs. This isn’t to say they aren’t worthwhile for someone else, I simply reserve my right to be prejudiced and simply don’t care if someone else doesn’t take to it. On the other hand, while I fail to see the beauty in those bikes, I don’t have a problem with someone who does.

To each his or her own.  I am not lost on the coolness of packing up enough stuff to camp on a bike and going for a week-long (or more) trip with or the idea that ten miles in an hour is still much faster than walking or jogging from point A to point B.

Now, having ridden a Trek leisure bike last year (my in-laws own a matching set [points for that] and on vacation last February they let my wife and I ride them every day), I can tell you they’re comfortable. It was like riding on a Lay-Z-Boy recliner, as long as you don’t try to go too fast.  Speed is not what they’re about.  It was nice, just not sexy, in my eyes.

While I might think they look goofy, my in-laws love them and that’s what it’s really all about.

Road cycling, like any other sport that an average person can participate in (running being another), has its snobs and some of those snobs are more repugnant than others. They have funny rules that encompass everything down to the length and material of one’s socks (crew length and ankle lengths are not acceptable, etc.), whether or not you can have a saddle bag on a road bike and even the minimum frequency of leg shaving (every fourth day). Most cyclists don’t give a damn about many of the rules, they’re silly for the most part, though they aren’t all that bad either.  There is no doubt though, when they’re followed a cyclist almost can’t help but look good.  Then there are other rules that enervate and are simply there to make life for others difficult.  I avoid these types of people like the plague.  My friends and I only have two rules when we ride:  “Do what you can to contribute” and “Don’t crash me, bro”.

Randonneurs have their rules too (if they are a lot more flexible) with their flags and hi-viz everything, their panniers, three-pound 45 position handlebars and trailers… Commuters (even more flexible) have their rules as well (though they mainly have to do with road etiquette and riding in places that have no room for a nervous person).  Now this might surprise some but even leisure cyclists have rules…  Well, one anyway:  “Stick your rules up your @$$!  I’m riding in my khaki shorts, open-toed sandals, wearing my aviator sunglasses and I don’t care if you don’t like it.”  Folks, anarchy is still a rule.

Anyway, do what you like.  Ride, wear, sport what makes you happy.  It’s all good.  Kind of.  There’s room for everyone.

Just do us all a favor:  You stick to what you like and leave others to their joy.  Besides, when you start talking about “green this” and “sustainability” that, when one starts believing their own press, or that their way to enjoy cycling is best and should be conformed to by everyone else, it says a lot about the person…  Mainly that you have absolutely no clue what you’re talking about.  Of course, on the plus side, that’s all I need to know to drop you at the first hill.

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16 Comments

  1. Dan says:

    Have I told you lately that your bikes suck? JK Bro!! All good points. It think I’m somewhere between anarchist and randanneur and roadie. And love it! The only things that really bother me about our love is the snobbishness I see from some. Like my fitness post yesterday talked about, that racer that looks at me as out of shape, I may bury him on a long ride. (just using generalities here with racers.) I see some of this same attitude with motorcyclists. The Harley crowd has their uniform and the BMW riders have theirs. Like one “biker” told me…..it’s all the same wind.

    • bgddyjim says:

      I understand why some people get upset at the snobbery, sometimes it’s a little much… On the other hand, name me one group on this planet, sports, food, political or otherwise, that doesn’t have it’s snobs. Looked at that way, I think it just is what it is. You know what I mean?

      And that crack about my bikes… Chuckle. You’ll have to dig a little deeper than that, my friend.

  2. Sandra says:

    Dan, them’s fightin’ words! I love all of my bikes (and let’s face it, you love your mountain bike, too–kind of). Super excited to get a Fatty at the end of the summer with my LBS discount.

    Oh, and your bike *is* very sexy.

  3. Dan says:

    Mountain bike? Do you have me confused with someone else? I have a steel, custom built Waterford. How’s THAT for snobbishness!?! My comments making fun of Jim’s bikes were all in good fun. I’d LOVE to ride his Venge sometime! He may not get it back!

    Sandra, that sexiness is NOT the bike BTW! 😉

  4. MJ Ray says:

    Oh, if you want to drop me, that first hill had better be steep enough to be outside my (admittedly limited) gear range, else the higher efficiency of sturdy 1/8″ chain in a straighter line around one sprocket instead of your three is just going to frustrate and puzzle you like it does so many roadies 🙂

    You’re more likely to drop me on the flat, where the top end of your gearing is far higher than mine (maybe as much as 50% higher!) and you’re far more aero.

    • bgddyjim says:

      I’d drop you on all three, brother. You forgot to add in the weight of your bike… and you definitely have to take out my getting confounded by the gearing completely out of the equation. That’s only an effective argument on paper or when riding against a dope or a noob. I’m neither – and it’s two chain rings, not three. Unless you want a go at me on the Trek, but I’ve got enough miles on that one to be quite proficient. 😛

      • MJ Ray says:

        I wrote sprockets, not chainrings – now there’s a noob jargon mistake 😛 – you’ll be using one of the many on your axle but you’ll also use two more wobbly ones on your mech that bend your chain through an energy-wasting S which I don’t have.

        The weight of the bike won’t make as much difference as you’d think on a small hill and if your pounds are the same size as ours, then the numbers in https://fitrecovery.wordpress.com/2016/02/28/pro-fit-cycling-kit-what-you-need-to-know/ mean my bike+rider still weighs less than yours 😛

      • bgddyjim says:

        Oh, now I understand… You’re calling the pulley wheels sprockets. You were saying? Chuckle. There’s no waste in the s-turn on the derailleur pulley’s, at least not enough to put a race bike at a disadvantage. The power will be distributed from the front chain ring to the cassette on the chain, from there it’s just getting the chain back around to the cassette again. The pulleys are just there to take up the slack in the chain from gear to gear.

        And yes, while overall weight would count for something, what would see me leaving you in the dust on a hill is the power to weight ratio as well. Careful MJ, don’t make me bring my bike over there. 😀

      • MJ Ray says:

        So where do you think a derailleur setup loses efficiency compared to a FG/SS/HG one then?

        You can come over here if you want but I think my current local area might be missing a vital ingredient for a hill-climbing challenge… https://goo.gl/maps/4f1Mtp78Qhp

        …where I used to live was better: https://goo.gl/maps/MpofsKCcZLN2 – but definitely outside my gear range 😉

      • bgddyjim says:

        I guess that’s really the trick isn’t it? I’m not out of my gear range for in the saddle climbing until I hit 15-18% and I can still grind out anything up to 30… The important point, while there may be some mechanical give in a ten speed system at the rear derailleur, being able to select a good gear for almost any riding condition far outweighs any loss to a single speed or fixie system’s lack of gears. I fully respect the way in which you choose to ride, it just doesn’t suit me – and what’s far more important than the physics behind cycling is the smile on my face when I ride. Same for you, I’d gather.

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