I liked the article I mentioned the other day about what Brian Holm thinks is how to look cool on a bike… it was fun for me to write about, at least. Now it’s my turn, but I won’t be as minute in my detail.
- Everybody looks like a dork at first, unless you have a metric $#!+-ton of money. I’ve only known of one person to pull off “noob” and “outrageously stylish” inside of the first year. One. He’s got that metric $#!+-ton into a few bikes… Funny thing is, all of the miles haven’t been able to work their magic yet, so he’s 40 pounds overweight riding outrageously awesome race bikes. Add to that, he takes a lot of coaching – his skills are no bueno… so, in other words, he’s got everything, but he still looks a bit the dork. I was unquestionably dorky for three years before attaining awesomeness. It just takes some time. Get over yourself.
Also, if you can bear it (or would that be bare it – damn), look a little closer at the handlebar on the mountain bike… yep, aero bars on a mountain bike. Super-dork.
- Get a bike and get your butt on it, first. You’re going to go with platform pedals first because most noobs freak out about being clipped in. You’ll come around once you realize “clippy pedals” are vastly superior… right up until you decide to go all retro and go back to platform pedals. And realize you blew all of that consternation and energy over nothing. Just remember, clipless pedals are the best thing since sliced bread.
- You go commando under the cycling shorts. That’s a period at the end of that first sentence.
- If cheap is all you can afford, go cheap in what you buy. Cheap is better than sitting on the couch. Cheap also has a tendency to look it, though not always, so be suspicious of deals too good to be true. Don’t be too suspicious, though. Great deals exist, but it helps to know what you’re looking for. Sadly, that takes experience.
- Riding in a group, you will make a mistake every now and again. Be gracious about it when you do. Don’t get all indignant and take it personally when someone barks at you – we’re all just trying to get home with our bones intact and our skin free of leaks. And then, later down the road, remember that you screwed up in the past as well, when someone else screws up. Be gracious about that, too.
- My friend, you know who you are, even though you couldn’t be considered a noob, that’s why I was cool about it. And why it’s all good. Don’t ever think badly about it again. It happens to all of us. Even Dave.
- Ride your bike.
- Ride your bike some more.
- Even more.
- Not there yet…
- …Eventually you’ll figure out your idea of cool once you’ve seen it enough. Then do that.
- The last two are most important; Don’t sweat the small stuff.
- It’s all small stuff. It’s riding a bicycle, not rocket science, for God’s sake. Go have some fun.