Over the years a lot of people have come and gone from the bike scene. Maybe it’s the same with tennis, jogging, or being a terrible surfer on mom’s couch, I don’t know.
What I do know is that one day they’re there, never miss a ride, and the next day they aren’t. Here are the main reasons people leave.
- They got the monkey off their back. Some people get into cycling because they’ve got demons. Drugs, alcohol, a terrible relationship, triathlons, etc. After a lot of bike therapy they sober up, dump the abusive partner, shred their USTA card, and there’s no will left to live (on the bike). Bye.
- Racing!!! Pity the person who gets into cycling because of racing. Either they win and realize that “there’s no there there” or they never win and realize they’re never going to win, like a Lunada Bay Boy on Mom’s Couch who finally realizes what everyone else knew all along, i.e. he’s a kook.
- Gizmos. Gear and equipment and stuff abound in this faux sport and it attracts a certain kind of weird person who thinks TT bikes and a locker at the velodrome that includes a compressed tank of helium are awesome. Eventually they buy all the gear. So bored now. Bye …
- Exercise freaks. Mongo ge bike and realize that Mongo can ride forever. And Mongo do. Until Mongo get tired. But Mongo keep riding. And Mongo get tireder. BUT MONGO MUST RIDE MORE. And then Mongo go away.
- Lonely people. Lonely person starts riding, meets people, gets invited to join club, is totally flattered, makes shit-ton new friends, discovers that bikers are just as repellent as the general populace only they wear Lycra underwear, returns to Hermit Kingdom.
- My Big Crash. Rider loves riding, rides hella fast, alla time. Rider falls and hits head, breaks nutsack, etc. Rider’s family throws bike in trash, hides shoes. Rider goes back to Arthur Murray dance studio because, safer.
- Job insecurity. Rider is all in and one day learns from boss that he’s one pay period away from being all out. Of a job. Rider knuckles back down to 15-hour days and mortgage payments.
- Bundle ‘o joy. Rider is on all the rides, does all the races, logs six days a week, 12k a year. Rider’s S/O gets a bellyful of baby. Rider becomes popular on Craigslist until all of garage bike shwag is replaced with portable baby poopers, car seats, and baby bassinets.
- Boredom. What is more boring than riding a bicycle? Aside from not riding a bicycle, NOTHING.
- Faster than I never was. Rider starts young and fast. Over time rider becomes old and slow. Rider’s mind eventually catches up with decrepitude of rider’s body, and that’s that.
But what is it that makes people continue, whether it’s racing or touring or commuting or rando-ing or MTB-ing? Easy.
They keep doing it because slow or fast, long or short, dangerous or safe, it’s flat fuggin’ FUN. You know who you are.
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