Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Spring Bicycling

The weather has turned mild, and I have begun my spring cycling outings. When I start riding in the spring, it's cold and dirty outside, and I ride my trail bike, and I wear heavy clothes to keep warm. Right now the weather is fine, but most of the people out riding are taut road bikers with intense looks on their faces. Now and then I see a couple of kids, and a handful of middle-aged lunatics on fat-tired bikes. I know where I belong. In my yellow striped pants and purple jacket, riding my trail bike, I am clearly one of the middle-aged lunatics, and we all smile at one another and wish each other good day. The road bikers do not acknowledge my nods unless I am riding the skinny-tired bicycle.

When I switch to my skinny-tired bicycle that my helmet matches, and I wear biking shorts and a jersey, the road bikers acknowledge my presence, while my own people, the middle-aged lunatics, view me with some suspicion. I might ride too fast on the trails, where people are trying to be at their ease and move at leisure.

There is no unity among bicyclists, except at RAGBRAI. I almost missed the registration deadline this year, but at the last moment I registered for two days. If all goes well, I will ride from Iowa City to the Mississippi.

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