Thursday, April 14, 2011

Lycra - The Silent Thief

On a ride home recently, I passed two riders heading in the opposite direction, I waved.

About a half mile further down the road, I passed another rider heading in the opposite direction, I waved.

About a quarter mile further down the road, I passed yet another rider heading in the opposite direction, I waved.

All four of these riders had several things in common...

- They all were clad in Lycra from head to foot.
- They all wore sleek sunglasses.
- They all rode high dollar, carbon fiber, road bikes.

Now, I have no problem with their attire or choice of bikes. I own and don my share of Lycra, I wear sunglasses to protect my eyes and enjoy riding my carbon fiber, road bike.

It was the fourth thing they all had in common that I find irksome...

- none of them waved back!

Was their lack of salutation because...
- they didn't like me? I highly doubt it. They didn't even know me. Not to mention the fact that I am a very likable, if not a downright super guy.

- the Lycra they wore was so tight that it restricted their arm movement? I highly doubt it. I wear Lycra on occasion and my movements are not hampered in any way shape or form. Well, that's not entirely true, it does have a tendency to keep certain things from shifting.

- they didn't see me because they wore dark sunglasses on a cloudy day? Possible, their glasses were indeed dark and the sun was no where in sight.

- carbon fiber, road bikes are too unstable to take a hand off the handlebars? I highly doubt it. I watch plenty of pro road cycling races and everyone of those guys are riding carbon fiber, road bikes. They are all the time taking a hand or two off the handlebars to eat, drink and I've even seen them execute taking a leak while riding with one hand on the handlebars.

I do not believe the reason for those four riders not waving can be found in the physical. I think it's a mentality thing. When someone dresses in their best Lycra, sports a sleek pair of sunglasses and climbs on their carbon fiber steeds, they have a tendency to focus on going far and going fast. What they fail to realize is that while this single minded focus on performance will greatly enhance their power output and cardiovascular system, it will also rob them of the simple pleasure of being on a bike.

They breathe to fuel their engine and are robbed of the subtle fragrance of fresh air.

They pedal for speed and distance and are robbed of the joy of the journey.

They lean over the handlebars to escape the wind and are robbed of the wind blowing away their cares.

They focus intently on the road in front of their wheel and are robbed of the passing beauty that surrounds them.

They brake to maneuver their bikes and are robbed of slowing down to discover something new.

They reach down to hydrate and are robbed of the richness that comes from reaching out to their fellow mankind.

They're on their bikes and that in and of itself is a plus. Sadly though - they're missing out on so much more:-(

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