Je’ ne regrette rien. I regret nothing. A pretty idea, that we might go through all our days without ever committing a faux pas. And yes, we do get to a point in our lives when we see that even our mistakes have served us well. But then, there WAS that one neon yellow jersey I rocked in the early ’90s that still gives me pangs of shame when I think on it.
And how sad it is to be rolling along in your group ride and hear someone say something like, “Yeah, I really wanted this bike. I had to have it, but it was the wrong thing to buy. Ah well, it’s what I’ve got now, so it’s what I ride.”
I can tell you honestly that I regret most of the way I road in my early 20s. What an ass I was, putting myself and others in danger. Disregarding rules. Barking at innocent drivers-by. Self-righteous. Inconsiderate. And proud of it.
Here is a partial list of things you may or may not have had second thoughts about: cycling sandals, Primal Wear jerseys, running red lights, half-wheeling your best friend, cheaping out on your everyday bike, not ever having raced, not racing cross, racing cross, drinking beer as a recovery beverage, eating every calorie you just got done burning and then having seconds, not riding enough, riding too much when your family was at home waiting for you, etc., etc., ad infinitum, ad absurdem.
I once drank a tall, cold pint of unpasteurized apple cider after four hours on the mountain bike. I regretted that. And my buddy regretted handing it to me. It’s hard to clean some things off a couch.
This week’s Group Ride asks the simple question: What are your cycling regrets? What do you wish you had done differently? What did you buy that you ought to have left in the shop window? What fad did you follow too eagerly? What mistakes have you made? Share them with us that we may avoid having to make them for ourselves.
Though we probably still will.
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