#30 is one of my favorites — calling to mind a drive home from Hillsboro Roubaix and my comment that traffic was acting as if in a Cat5 road race. #38 while riding the North Branch Trail loop on my track bike mid-day during the week is actually what I credit the most for making me a competitive cyclist. And thankfully I’ve never experienced #s 43 or 55.
Being a cyclist is quite a unique thing, as the article clearly explains. There are constantly moments when you have epiphanies that deepen the significance of cycling in your life as well. Then, it’s the sights and smells that bring back memories of that first UCI race experience, an epic climb, even a horrific crash. That said, here are some of the more poignant moments that have solidified me as the cyclist I am today:
1) The experience of getting paid to ride my bike and how it still motivates me when I look back on it; when it’s raining out, when where I’m sleeping – as comfortable as it may be – is not as desirable a locale as the cold morning streets, etc.
2) Descending at 50+MPH, laughing hysterically and being unable to hear it due to the wind’s howl past my ears
3) The smell of embrocation beating out the smell of my first girlfriend’s deodorant as all-time favorite scent
4) Watching several riders bumping wheels around me while in a fast chase group during a rainy crit and not being frightened, but getting goosebumps due to the fact that so few people get to experience that thrill
There’s maybe a dozen of those “rights of passage” I haven’t experienced — for one reason or another — and I can’t believe they omitted any mention of gluing/riding tubular tires, but it definitely shines some light on the oft misunderstood life of a cyclist. Even mine.