There is a long bike path at the bottom of the hill I live on. It serves as a sort of summer super-highway for the recreationally inclined. Joggers. Strollers. Roller bladers. Cyclists. They’re all there.
Yesterday, I took the day off and went for a ride with my wife. We dropped the kids off at school and then flew down the hill, jumped on the bike path and headed west.
Almost immediately, we encountered a pair of women on a tandem, rolling along, enjoying the beautiful weather.
I hate tandems. To me, tandems represent the opposite of what I love about cycling, the independence. Who would want to have someone else doing the steering? Ugh. I can’t even imagine it.
My wife, having listened to me express this opinion before, just smiled and said, “But aren’t you glad they’re out on a bike?” And of course the answer is yes. I fully support and encourage cycling, even when it doesn’t match up with my vision of cycling.
A guy on a recumbent rolled past going the other way. OMG. He could barely hold his line. I often wonder if they actually ask to see your engineering degree when they sell you one of those things. And they’re expensive. Don’t get me started on the slack chain lines and the dopey flags bobbing behind them.
I also dislike hybrids, mixte frames and high end Italian road frames that have been “converted” to fixed gear. I also don’t much care for cantilever brakes, time trials or criteriums (criteria?).
Again though, these are just my prejudices, my petty judgments. They don’t mean anything about cycling or the people who embody them. All good people. All good cyclists. They just expose me for the judgmental, closed-minded zealot I can be when I am taking myself too seriously, which is almost always.
This week’s Group Ride is about prejudices. What are yours? And why do you hold onto them? What, if any, value do they have, and what do they mean about you?