Making cycling great again

A friend sent me this dreadful link to these dreadful tips designed to make me hate riding my bicycle. You would think that it’s hard to make someone hate riding a bicycle, but there is an entire industry built around it. The idea is that if you hate riding a bicycle while knowing it’s good for you, you will spend a lot of money trying to force yourself to ride, i.e. gear, coaches, magazine subscriptions, and etc. Lots of etc.

This is like the food industry, which has taken something awesome, food, made it dreadful, and then created the diet charlatindustry to help you not lose the weight so you can eat more of the dreadful food. Everyone wins except the one who was born every minute.

I have come up with a sure-fire list of ways to make you love riding your bike. Some of these tips are very edgy and will singe the eyebrows of the bicyclitally correct, but they work.

  1. Ditch the helmet. There, I said it.
  2. Don’t record anything. No one cares or is impressed by how far you rode, least of all you. In fact, you are depressed by it because no matter how far you rode, SOMEONE RODE FARTHER. Let your activities vanish into the ether as soon as they are complete, residing only in your memory.
  3. Ride alone. You’ll be amazed at how much you see and hear when some jackanape isn’t prattling on about his w/kg ratio, complaining about [—], or shit-talking all your mutual friends.
  4. Post your ride and all the details on social media. Not.
  5. Ride with two good friends and ride real fuggin’ hard. Do a workout, the three of you, and make sure that when you’re done everyone is cross-eyed.
  6. Delete your weight log. If it’s paper, shred it. Then toss out your bathroom scales. Guess what? After four years of meticulous record keeping, I weigh 153 pounds. That’s it. Some days a tad more, some a tad less, but my average is 153 pounds and that’s what it’s always gonna be. Same for you. The daily weigh-in works if you are a hog prepping for slaughter, but otherwise it’s a silly and meaningless routine you’ll be happier without.
  7. Refuse to set goals. Goals are for winners, people who succeed, hard-chargers, and the sad fact is that in cycling you can’t win, can’t succeed, and can’t charge hard anywhere, at least not for long. Cycling is a long-term affliction that equates with happiness and peripheral health if you’re lucky, and that’s it. It doesn’t make you superman, doesn’t extend your life, doesn’t stop global warming, and isn’t the red badge of courage. Get. Over. It.
  8. Shave your face. Guys, why spend so much time honing and glossing your legs when your face looks like you just pulled it out of a sawdust bin? For fuxake, take three minutes and shave. It won’t help your cycling but it will help everyone who has to look at you.
  9. Fire your coach. And if you have to hire another one, make it your nice Auntie Maude who lives in Topeka and whose passion is baking brownies.
  10. Refuse to explore your motivations. Who cares why you ride, least of all you? Go out and ride and let your motivations be as whimsical as possible. “Today I’m riding in order to be a flounder.” “Today I’m riding to free the world’s microchips.” “Today I’m riding because pancakes.”
  11. Sneer at someone’s fancy bike or pretty clothing. Nothing takes the fun out of cycling like stuff. Cycling isn’t about stuff. It is about non-stuff. If that doesn’t make sense to you, you are clearly not yet a flounder.
  12. Aspire to mediocrity. Excellence goes before a fall. Mediocrity is safe, comfortable, predictable, not demanding, and well within your means. Embrace 13 mph average rides. They don’t mean you are a horrible person who should be executed, no matter what Bicycling Magazine et al say.
  13. Explain to an expert that you don’t care. Whether the advice sausage is telling you about gearing, braking, cornering, dieting, flubbering, or flummadiddling, tell him you do not GAF. Calmly and politely say in an enraged voice, “I am not listening. Please go die now.”
  14. When the going gets tough, acknowledge you are a cupcake. Why? Because everyone loves a cupcake. No one loves a saucer of nails and broken glass.
  15. Plan a group ride and don’t show up. This will rekindle your joy of sleeping in on a Saturday morning instead of rolling out bleary-eyed and grumpy to meet a bunch of smelly friends who haven’t shaved. Then you can ride after brunch. If it’s sunny.
  16. Flick off technology. Look someone in the eye who is recommending disk brakes and tell them to fuck off. “Disc brakes are stupid,” is the way to finish the conversation, preferably with no elaboration.
  17. Bail hard. Think about an awesome, challenging ride/race/event you’ve always wanted to train for, and then admit to yourself that it’s a horrible idea and you’d rather eat the Cookie Monster cupcake with the blue icing down at Becker’s. Plus it is cheaper.
  18. Focus on the past. You used to be young, attractive, and optimistic. Go back to that period in time and stay there.
  19. Sign up for a gym membership. Go the most expensive gym you can find, like Equinox, and sign up for the most expensive program they have, along with 6 months of daily personal training. Add in the nutritionist consult, blood workup, and full pre-workout evaluation. Then call the next day and cancel everything. It won’t cost a penny and you’ll have been the center of everyone’s attention for the better part of an entire day.
  20. Put your cycling last. Why angst about getting in your workout early? It can fuggin’ wait, and if it can’t? Too bad, so sad. Tomorrow, as she said, is another day.
  21. Punch someone in the face. Do it the minute they say, “You should race.” Then tell them, “You should see a dentist.”
  22. Decide not to color coordinate. You are not Elijah Shabazz, so don’t even try. It’s okay to wear gray with ochre and purple and yellow and green polka-dot sprinkles. Or an old t-shirt and flip-flops. Or better yet, let your inner Shirtless Keith rage.
  23. Explore your family tree. Ask yourself, “What would my great-grandfather say about this?” If your great-grandpa was like mine, you wouldn’t get past the word “diet” before he shot you.
  24. Quit buying into other people’s b.s. Do you like riding around the block and then eating a tub of ice cream? Then do it. Yes, this means you, Baby Seal.
  25. Write yourself messages. However, make them honest rather than fake-inspirational/motivational b.s. For example: “No one cares,” or my favorite, “Later.”
  26. Treat life like a meter that is almost out of time. In other words, don’t go murder yourself on a horrible cycling ordeal; order another round.
  27. Get up early. How early? So fuggin’ early that it’s almost the day before.
  28. Don’t sign the waiver. Anything that requires you to give away your rights is stupid and hates you. Refuse to do it. Instead, demand that they sign a waiver on your behalf and see how they like it.
  29. Never, ever, ever talk about your workouts. Not to your spouse, S/O, and dog forbid at work. It makes you look like a tool and it violates the cardinal rule of cycling, which is that the rest of the world hates you.
  30. Encourage your non-cycling friends to not get into cycling. They will thank you for it.
  31. Laugh at consistency. Go all in one week, then put away your bike for three years like Boozy P. and focus on surfing, beer, and motorcycles. Balance is for gymnasts, and with a gut like that, trust me, you ain’t no gymnast.
  32. Sit on the couch and read a book. It is safer, cheaper, will make you smarter, and help you sleep.


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9 thoughts on “Making cycling great again”

  1. Well, I can check one of those boxes. Sign up for the full BWR. Feel badass for a brief period of time (measured in milliseconds) before thinking “that is really going to hurt”. Settle back into the couch.

  2. As one who aspires to retire in Amsterdam, I’m one of the people choosing not to care if cyclists ride bikes solo without helmets. Helmet-less people ride the South Bay Beach Path on cruisers every day, and it seems curious that people want to be super sensitive now. However, I do have a legal question when it comes to group rides because fear of personal financial liability has kept me from riding in groups with a participant that chooses to ride without a helmet. I honestly don’t know (and guessing I’m not the only one) so I’m asking the bike attorney, are my fears unfounded? In other words, all other things being equal… is my personal liability the same if I’m involved in – or even unintentionally cause – a group ride crash with a helmet-rider suffering $X medical damage versus a helmetless-rider suffering $X+Y medical damage? Is my worry about “Y” baseless? Understood the optimal outcome is not crashing, but group rides tend to be sub-optimal at times.

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