To Be a Rider

No story — or narrative this week. There’s one in the hopper, but it needs to compost a bit more. There are things on my mind however. Questions really. Here’s a short list.


1. After a Crit in which I (surprise!) got popped I was talking to friend describing what I took as my pedaling style, and its relation to the geometry of my bike. Which is more traditional than aggressive.

“Ah. You’re a rider aren’t ya? “

I responded yes. Thinking I knew what that meant, but now I’m not so sure. So… What does it mean to be a “Rider?”

2. How is it different than being a Racer, or a Randoneer or any of the other words we use to describe to our riding selves.

3. If its a style thing, what are the marks of that “style” Does it relate to this notion of a soul ride?

On this one I keep thinking about a thing a friend told me after he moved to Hawaii. I can’t recall the term, but it was about having water. Which translated to soul. Something that you couldn’t find, but posses. I feel strongly that this is related to authenticity. I’m just not sure how to put it into words yet. Well ones that make sense.

4. Related to the style comment above. Earlier in the week I was talking with someone on twitter lamenting my perceived inability to push a big gear. I said I just wasn’t a masher. He kindly reminded me that it is:

 “Important to remember that mashing is a style, not a gear. It is possible to spin those big gears, just takes work.”

Though we were talking about the mechanics of riding a bicycle I couldn’t help that we were also talking about the way I live. Which, if you’ve been with me for a while you know is reflected in the way we ride. I like to think that I have a smooth spin. I was living under that delusion, until last week when I saw a co-worker buttery smooth style, while mine felt like I was wielding a knife in an 80s slasher film.

Those are the things I’m pondering on this Juneuary Friday (its cold and wet here in PDX). Have a thought. Please please please leave a comment.



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