Wednesday, January 20, 2010

My heroes ride slow.

I spotted my first pair of shaved (male) legs in Bright today, a reminder the Alpine Classic will very soon be upon us. It's also a reminder too that huge egos of the lycra brigade will soon be arriving in town. Though most audax riders are humble and interesting people, some of the folk this ride attracts seem never to have learned the lesson that being a good bike rider and being a decent or fully-formed human are two different things that don't necessarily travel together. It's an epidemic among racing cyclists, who seldom smile or wave or acknowledge the rest of us when out on the road. There will be plenty of shaved legs and bright team jerseys and attitude in town this weekend. And I'm forecasting an undersupply of humility and perspective.

Riding up a few hills on a $8000 carbon fibre bike doesn't impress me greatly. If you're thin and fit and young, it would be more surprising if you couldn't. My cycling heroes do better than that.

Try Lan Yin Tasi (top left). She's 84. Every year for the past 26 years, she's cranked out 200km to raise money for multiple sclerosis research. She does it on a single-speed bike, in a dress and high heels. That's pretty impressive.

Or how about Bram Moen's mum? She covers 6000km a year, just like me, but she's 84 and just got a flash new bike. Or Scott Cutshall, who lost about 150 kilograms and rode himself back into health.

I guess there will be a lot of rich white blokes - the mainstay of competitive cycling - in Bright this weekend who think they're pretty special. The shocking truth is, they're not.

421km so far this year.


Grant said...

Nice one Dave. Hope you have a great ride on the weekend.



NancyBoy said...

Not sure I entirely agree with the spirit of this post Dave...

Monsoon Cyclist said...

I agree with you in that there is not enough fun and camaraderie between random cyclists out on the road. You can still be committed to your training regimen and acknowledge the presence of other riders.

Often (not always) my gestures of recognition to other cyclists riding the same roads as me (in the Dandenong Ranges east of Melb) go ignored. Sometimes I wonder if it is because I usually ride a non-road bike (I, too, am a Surly (LHT) riding cyclist named Dave) & maybe am not recognised as part of the 'club'. Not sure. Anyway love your blog, keep up the good work.

Dave Harrington
(Surly Dave Too)

Parz said...

Super post Dave. Sometimes we seem to miss that whether it's a bike ride or something bigger that it is a shared experience.