So what is a born again cyclist? Are you one?
These questions trouble us all and so I will attempt to define the born again cyclist through the medium of dance. Failing that, I’ll jot down a few words.
The typical born again cyclist
Think of a reformed smoker who takes up the cause of anti-smoking to a seriously irritating level. Now think of someone worse than that and you are approaching the world of the born again cyclist. We think we are god’s gift to mankind sent forth to bring the word of the wheel to all sinners. Sinners being people without bikes.
All born again cyclists will have been reasonably keen cyclists in their youth or early adulthood but gave it up due to marriage, children, job, money, laziness, the list goes on. Although there is no fixed age most have their epiphany around the 50 mark. This really helps as they are getting a bit grumpy and bothersome already and the step to irritating evangelist is but a small one. Most will have some degree of middle-age spread going on and it is often the realisation of this that triggers the responsible synapses deep within the born again cortex.
Cycle-Yoga? This guy is definitely a born again cyclist.
Born again cyclist language
Born again cyclists will not often use the phrase “live the bike” nor “feel the bike”. We are way beyond that. These phrases are for normal, sane cyclists. However, you may hear them say, sometimes with good reason, that “the bike saved my life”. Their topics of conversation become limited and may be identified by such terms as “group sets”, “cassettes”, “rolling resistance”, “carbon”, “crash” and, of course, “strava”.
The single most used phrase of the born again cyclist is “you should get a bike”. This can be used in so many social, political and business situations that it has become the number one phrase in the world today. We can’t get enough of explaining the benefits of a bike to the infidel:
All born again cyclists have a Strava account. There are no exceptions. If you think you are a born again cyclist but do not have a Strava account then I’m sorry, you are just a keen cyclist, please leave this blog immediately.
All born again cyclists have or intend to have more than one bike. The dedicated born again will have more than one of the same type like two road bikes and three mountain bikes. This is crazy and indefensible and absolutely typical. Personally I will stick to three; road bike, mountain (read trail) bike, and trekking bike. Although, thinking about it, that carbon Felt road bike is a good price, I’m just saying.
On their transport they will have an array of trick lighting, bags, navigation systems, and cycle computers linked to heart rate monitors and cadence sensors such that they can upload their state of physical degeneration onto Strava. They will have a specialist bike tool kit, if not two because the first one didn’t have a droggle withdrawing grommit tool, and a proper bike stand for cleaning and basic repairs.
They have laughed at lycra clad youngsters in the past but now have the latest merino base layers and tight lycra into which they squeeze their less than slim figures. Let’s be honest, we look pretty bad, at least until we drop that first 10Kg.
Born again cyclists wear cycling hats and feel naked even if just taking a short trip down the shops without head protection. This is not a problem. What is a problem is we think we look good in these gaudy plastic lids.
The will to irritate
More than a will it’s a mission. It’s also subconscious so we really can’t help it. Examples include
- walking into the office with bike hat and drinks bottle and asking if anyone else beat their personal best this morning
- inviting everyone to follow their Starva account no matter how little contact made
- suggesting to anyone with a spare tyre that they should get a bike
- telling all the work gym members that biking is better than weights and nonsense
- telling female e-bikers that they are not real cyclists
- telling male e-bikers that they are not real men
- mentioning how much faster they could have been if it wasn’t for the headwind, rain, road conditions, traffic lights, etc.
- spending more time talking about biking than actually biking
The will to be irritated
It doesn’t take much. Here are some examples of those who irritate us:
- All faster cyclists but especially e-bikers
- Anyone with a better bike but we won’t be admitting that one
- Any cyclist with more bikes
- Any cyclist who overtakes on a hill like it’s easy
- Anyone who weighs less or is younger
- Triathletes. Yes, all of them.
- Anyone who ignores red lights and stop signs
- Anyone who complains when I ignore red lights or stop signs
“Like dogs, bicycles are social catalysts that attract a superior category of people.” ~ Chip Brown
“Life may not be about your bike, but it sure can help you get through it.” ~ Hallman
“Get a bicycle. You will certainly not regret it, if you live.” ~ Mark Twain