13 October 2009

Rites of Passage

You have probably seen this before but in my short cycling career I can certainly say some of these are relevant to me (I have highlighted them).
  1. Realizing that the hill isn’t in the way; it is the way.
  2. You go from one pair of shorts to a dedicated drawerful
  3. Being unable to sleep the night after you shave your legs, because of the tingle of bedsheets against your skin.
  4. When “thanks for the ride” goes from something you overhear to a part of your lexicon
  5. You see someone on the beach tanned low on the quads and biceps, and give him a nod of recognition.
  6. Bonking so bad you don’t think you will be able to make it home.
  7. Discovering how a convenience-store Coke can resurrect the dead.
  8. Starting and finishing a ride – the same one – in pouring rain.
  9. When you hang out at the bike shop and no one expects you to buy anything.
  10. When your bike computer registers triple digits for one ride.
  11. Clearing a log on the trail
  12. You embrocate.
  13. Staying long enough with the paceline to have a turn at the front.
  14. You are on the bike for the fifth straight day, and your butt doesn’t hurt.
  15. You try bibs and realize you can never go back to shorts.
  16. You notice that someone else has chain grease on his right calf.
  17. You ride inside the pack with no claustrophobia
  18. You swing off the front of the paceline before you get tired.
  19. You blow a snot-rocket without hitting your shoulder or your leg – or the guy behind you. (in my dreams. work to be done)
  20. You get stuck in your pedals and topple over at a stoplight
  21. Someone you introduced to the sport kicks your ass on the ride.
  22. Riding your bike through a big, congested city and feeling smarter than everyone else because you’re moving.
  23. You wake up to find your sheets sticking to your road-rash, and are feeling excited about riding that day.
  24. Your boss stops to ask you what is happening in the Tour de France
  25. You fix up your old bike to get someone else into the sport.
  26. Wearing out your first set of tires.
  27. You ride through a pothole, and it’s no big deal.
  28. Getting hopelessly lost – deliberately.
  29. You stop mid-ride to give your only spare tube to a stranded cyclist
  30. You realize you’re driving your car as if it were a bike – drafting, looking for potholes, and getting away from that squirrelly guy.
  31. Fixing a busted chain.
  32. When you no longer have to stop to take off your jacket.
  33. Feeling confident about taking off your jacket while riding, and then getting the trailing sleeve caught in the rear tire.
  34. The first time you crumple your race numbers.
  35. Planning a riding vacation (almost, am thinking about it)
  36. Seeing sunrise from the saddle.
  37. Wondering how your biggest local hill would rank on the Tour de France classification.
  38. In your head, Phil Liggett narrates your ride.
  39. You got dropped, you flatted, bonked, and got turned around – and when you get home you say you got a great ride.
  40. You roll through a patch of gravel and, without thinking, you reach back to rub the crud off your tire with your hand.
  41. A rider your respect says “You were flying today.”
  42. Rolling through a stop-sign, knowing it was the right thing to do.
  43. Doored!
  44. When you crest the summit of a climb, start down, realize you’re going the wrong way, but keep going anyway.
  45. Rubbing wheels – and staying up.
  46. Letting go of your kid’s seat and not having to grab it again.
  47. Getting your bike stolen and realizing how much it hurt you.
  48. Cleaning the cassette with your old toothbrush.
  49. Sprinting the neighborhood kids.
  50. Chasing a rabbit down the singletrack.
  51. Falling asleep when you stop for a break on a mountain bike ride.
  52. Endo.
  53. Telling someone which bike to buy.
  54. Overcooking a turn.
  55. Breaking a collarbone.
  56. Figuring out how to layer without overdressing.
  57. Dicing which car to buy in part based on how it will carry your bikes.
  58. Your first ride with a jersey instead of a t-shirt
  59. Riding on a day to cold that the water in your bottle freezes.
  60. Discovering that a shot of Jameson in each bottle keeps the water fluid.
  61. Though you’re not clear on exactly how to do it, and unsure of the outcome, you manage to fix your first flat.
  62. Walking home in your cleats.
  63. Getting so deep into the sport you think your helmet looks good. (not quite, but getting close)
  64. Following a favourite pro-racer—besides Lance Armstrong.
  65. Finding out that your favourite pro-racer was doping.
  66. Wrapping your bar tape so the handlebar plug stays in and no bar shows at the tricky bend at the brake hood.
  67. Naming a route
  68. Bumping elbows, then being relaxed enough to make a joke about it with the guy next to you.
  69. Sitting in with the big weekend training race.
  70. Developing that “V” of muscle definition on the back of your calf.
  71. Espresso at the halfway point.
  72. Crashing and immediately asking “How’s my bike?”
  73. Fixing your bike with a rock.
  74. Paying for a coach
  75. Figuring out that training advice doesn’t get much better than “ride lots.”
  76. Clacking into a rough tavern in cleats and spandex.
  77. Having a position on Bartali vs Coppi
  78. Throwing up after an epic sprint.
  79. Chasing back on after a flat.
  80. Winning a town-sign sprint and remembering it forever.
  81. Watching the compressed CO2 from your only canister shooting off into the air instead of the tube.
  82. Matching your bar tape with your tire’s sidewall – then realizing on your next ride that your bike looks like it’s been decorated by a blind pimp.
  83. Riding someplace you’ve always driven.
  84. Outsprinting a crazed dog.
  85. Summiting an H.C. Climb.
  86. Waving at a cyclist coming the other way and being ignored.
  87. Getting annoyed by an uninvited wheel sucker.
  88. Getting so fast you’re confident enough to ride slow.
  89. Wondering if cycling matters too much.
  90. Not caring if it does.
  91. At the PTA meeting, looking around at all the fat parents.
  92. Sitting up, taking your hands off the bar on a downhill.
  93. Surfing traffic on adrenaline and luck in one of the world’s 10 biggest cities.
  94. Dropping someone half your age.
  95. Outclimbing someone half your size.
  96. Passing someone whose bike costs twice as much as yours.
  97. Looking inside the bottle you’ve been using all season, seeing mold.
  98. Dismissing what used to be your favourite magazine because it keeps repeating topics.
  99. Reading The Rider.
  100. Coming home from Europe with cobblestones in your luggage.
  101. Finding out that no one makes your favourite handlebar-bend anymore.
  102. Riding down a trail you couldn’t safely walk.
  103. Telling the joke, “God wishes he was Eddy Merckx.”
  104. Cheating a crosswind by joining an echelon.
  105. Feeling superstrong, then turning around and realizing you have had a tailwind.
  106. Pedaling the Rainbow Bridge, Tokyo, at night.
  107. Beating the person whose bike squeaks drives everyone nuts.
  108. Reading a rites of passage list and finding that your own favourite is missing.
  109. Posting your own anecdotes and ride reports to the 'club's blog rather than claiming a lack of technological expertise.
Posted on behalf of DH via the Rites of Passage post on the TCC site

5 comments:

David L. said...

Excellent, and no I had not seen it. ... need to work on the technological expertise bit.

Dominic H said...

In the interests of full disclosure, I found this excellent list from the TCC blogsite (original from Bicycle Magazine I think).

James said...

63. All of my helmets look good! I have different coloured ones depending on kit and my mood!

Dominic H said...

and I uploaded the Garmin software yesterday so can post rides (in theory at least). Another achievement yesterday was to sort out a Google account to enable me to write this. Progress, Watson, Progress.

lovensprockets said...

110. Accident so bad your bike is damaged beyond repair, hospital stay, months of recovery and future delays at airport security and your more concerned about a replacement bike.