Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Revolution of a cyclist: A letter to my daughter

Dear Daughter,

There are a few things you should know if you're going to be involved with a Cyclist. Some of these are obvious and others will sneak up on you.

He will love it that you want to ride with him. He will do and buy anything necessary to get you out there on the bike.

Once you've gotten used to it he'll start to introduce fun things like climbs that feel like Mount Everest. But he'll say supportive stuff like "you're totally ready for this, I've been watching you" and then you feel like a heel for accusing him of trying to kill you.

You will eat massive amounts of everything, enjoy every last bite and still lose weight. Insist on a coffee and pastry or ice cream stop somewhere in the middle of the ride. You've earned it.

You will have more water bottles than water glasses in your kitchen cupboard...and in fact will sometimes have difficulty drinking from a regular glass. Guests might be a little alarmed when you pull a bottle out of the fridge and squirt water into their glass, but just explain calmly that you wash them carefully.

If you don't have a garage there will be bikes in the house, because you can't just leave those things outside! (this is usually said with a shocked look) It will take some time, but eventually you'll figure out just how much you can hang or place on which bike without bringing down the wrath of the Cyclist. (hint: drying cycle clothing ON the bikes is tolerated) There will be extra tires and tubes hanging on door knobs and tools close by. No doubt there will be a few extra front wheels because those clever companies only sell them in sets, knowing full well that the rear wheels die months if not years before the front. A clever girl (and I know you are) might find a way to create some kind of wall art with them. It keeps them off the floor.

There will be as many kits and accessory gear (they cringe when you call it spandex or even worse...outfits) in your house as regular clothes. No doubt there will be a dedicated closet or dresser for cycling gear. Insist on your own drawer.

In fact (I can say this because this was my experience on Sunday) you'll suddenly find yourself thrilled to have found a pair of Pearl Izumi 3/4 length pants for super cheap and an even better deal on a Pissei jersey and consider it money well spent, even though your street clothes are wearing and washing away at an alarming rate. I would pass up a great pair of boots for a really well made (and good looking) jersey and shorts. I'm shocked at this change in attitude.

There are several signs to let you know when your transformation from regular person (ie cyclist) to Cyclist is complete. For instance when you start planning your schedule around your rides instead of the other way around. Or when you discover that the majority of your friends ride as well.

Suddenly you'll find yourself looking at the world a little differently. A prime example would be Sunday when I was surrounded by incredibly fit men wearing Lycra and what was I looking at? Their bikes. (this still makes me shake my head in disbelief)

And so pumpkin, it's OK to be seduced by the awesome downhill, just remember that to get to it there's probably a killer climb. But it's totally worth it.


PS I've included a picture of my cycling guardian angel. Yes, I have more than one. My regular angel didn't feel up to the challenge. You're related to me, so I expect that you'll require the same kind of help. I say that with great love....