Thought I might post this list from Bicycling.com, 101 Things to Love About Cycling, adding our experience with them. It’s a nice list that gives you a good feeling about cycling, but I’ve checked very few of these things off of my list! Goals for 2012 and beyond, I suppose!
1. Riding on New Year’s Day, no matter what
Don’t think we managed it this year
2. French fries at the restaurant on the top of the Tourmalet
Haven’t been to France, but happy to accept invitations!
3. Bumping a water bottle closed on your hip
4. The inexplicable ability to feel the rider behind you … and to sense when he’s no longer there
5. The first postwinter ride in shorts and a jersey
Or unexpected 60 degrees temps during the winter?
6. Dropping the friend who always dropped you
7. Riding on the hoods
8. The flyover
9. Circling at the top of the hill, waiting for the others …
10. … and circling at the bottom
11. Laterally stiff, vertically compliant—when it works, it really really really really works
12. Walking your bike by the saddle
Have to try it, always use the front, maybe that is the nerdy way?
13. A paceline in which you have absolute trust
Hope to find a cycling group someday
14. Setting the gripper on your shorts exactly where your tan line is
15. Hearing someone tell you “Nice pull” …
16. … in a voice somewhat out of breath
17. A relationship that began with a ride
Eyegirl and I have just the opposite, a relationship that turned into a ride!
18. Smelling the embrocation waft off your own legs
Oh boy, don’t know about that one
19. Riders who don’t train, show up on unimpressive gear, and rip ass
20. Having a friend fall in love with the sport, on the bike you loaned him
I fell in love with cycling on a bike my father in law gave me, guess I need to pay it forward!
21. On the rivet. Tout adroit. El gancho.
22. Knowing how to lean two bikes against each other so they can stand without other support …
23. … and knowing how to stand a bike by its pedal on the curb
24. LeMond at the line, 1989 world champs
25. Fresh bar tape
That you wrapped yourself, not quite perfect – there’s always next time
26. Finishing a three-hour ride in 90-degree heat drenched in sweat—and somehow feeling not filthy stinky but cleansed
27. Watching a race in a bar in Belgium
28. When the red light changes to green at the exact moment you’d have to put a foot down
29. Figuring out how to carry all the groceries home
Backpacks and handlebars!
30. Riding someone on your handlebar
31. The Campagnolo corkscrew
32. Rolling along a city street on which car traffic is stopped
33. Being reminded of all the bike knowledge you’ve acquired when spell-check thinks “derailleur” is a mistake
34. Champion’s quads
35. The presta valve, for its elegant simplicity as well as its continuing inscrutability to the general public
Had to consult Eyegirl’s father on my first encounter
36. The anticipation, anxiety, eagerness, and sense of history you feel as you pedal through Bedoin, the last town before Mont Ventoux
37. Purposely riding through the radius of a lawn sprinkler on a hot day
38. Finger juggling a frosty CO2 cartridge
39. Winning the race home against the rainstorm…
40. …and losing sometimes, too
41. Wiping away tears at the bottom of a long descent
42. The pleasure of the pride of sitting up and taking off your vest while riding
43. The lanterne rouge, a concept that’s not in football, baseball, basketball, badminton, or any other sport
The distinction of making the cut and finishing last
44. Being given a spare tube by a complete stranger
45. Banana for breakfast, 6 a.m., on the roll
46. Walking into the house gritty and begrimed after a stormy battering, with the toll of the ride, so often invisibly borne, for once plain on your face
47. Removing and installing a wheel the way we were meant to—after the lawyer tabs are filed off
Had to look up “lawyer tabs“. Never occurred to me to file them off
48. Getting a chance to ride with a pro—who keeps reminding you to slow down
49. Switching from bar tops to drops and watching your speed bump up a couple miles per hour
50. Naming a ride
51. And better: Having a ride named after you
52. Taking off a kid’s training wheels
53. Not unclipping once on a 50-mile ride
I guess we need to find some more deserted roads!
54. The socks
55. That one hill that never gets any easier—and, conversely, never any less satisfying to crest
56. Arced over the bar, hands deep in the drops, a knife fighting against crushing fists of a headwind
57. Allez! Venga! Dai! Hup!
Allez is our favorite
58. Helen Keller, cyclist: Anyone can do it
59. Burning 898 calories in an hour
Since reading the Fat Trap, I’ve been skeptical of calorie calculations
60. The fact that science still cannot fully explain how a bicycle stays upright
I thought Mr. Wizard explained it pretty well!
61. The Rider, by Tim Krabbe
62. People in cars, heat or AC on full blast depending on the season, staring out at you as if you’re a lunatic
63. The V carved into your well-trained calf
64. Whether sweat or embro or both, shining quads rising and falling in your peripheral vision 95 times a minute
65. The drop bar—is there any more comfortable, versatile handle in all of sport?
66. Riding to the ride
67. Understanding that frame scratches and paint wear are to be cherished like wrinkles—and it takes a lot of wisdom, not just age, to get to that point
68. A near-effortless 25 mph in a tailwind
69. Coming out of a shop to find someone you don’t know admiring your bike
70. Finding a new hill, figuring out how to work it into a route, then debuting it to your pack
71. Breaking the speed limit on descents
I think we may have done it
72. Not hitting the caterpillar
73. The snot rocket: necessary antidote to both maturity and the sometimes suffocating demands of civilization
74. Your shadow halfwheeling you then, hours later, falling off the pace in the changing sunshine and able to make it home with you only in your draft
75. “Thanks for the ride”
76. PB&J at the rest stop—it’s a cliche but it tastes so damn right
77. And orange slices—how can they be that refreshing?
78. Outsprinting the dog
79. Dropping back to pull a slower rider up to the group
80. Old European guys with stomachs—and 750,000 miles in their legs
81. Those long, rangy conversations with friends when you talk about things you wouldn’t seem to be able to off the bike
82. “He’s never tired. He’s never miserable.”
83. Flip-flops and a cruiser on the boardwalk
84. Three rear jersey pockets: one of the best ideas humankind has ever conceived
So true, even wore one for a half-marathon for that reason!
85. Full-finger gloves on an autumn day
86. No hands, head tipped skyward
Still working on the “no hands” thing, personal best of maybe 5 seconds – wuss?
87. Small, messy bike shops
88. The timeless beauty of steel
89. The guilt-free post-ride beer
90. Jens Voigt
91. Winning your first race, no matter what the field size is
92. Feeling better at the end of a ride than you did at the start
Always, even if it’s indoors
93. Cycling blogs
94. Becoming part of a pack
95. Riding a trail you built
96. Setting out for a ride without any destination in mind
97. Sharing your favorite routes and trails with out-of-towners
98. Cowbells at cyclocross races
99. Correcting a slide on instinct
100. The rubber-and-oil smell of a bike shop
101. We can forget names, faces, birthdays, and anniversaries, but we never forget how to ride a bike