Friday Group Ride #84

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.”

Je’ regrette.

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.

Je’ regrette.

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.

Je’ regrette.

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.

Je’ regrette.

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.


Follow me on Twitter @thebicyclerobot.

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  1. Neil

    Buying and wearing a Livestrong bracelet. Don’t get me wrong: it’s as good a cause as any.

    I should’ve just donated the money, and saved the rubber from my douchey wrists. I think many have Lance-inspired purchase regrets.

  2. Doug P

    I regret going on a long ride on my newly purchased bike last year without a pump or patch kit. I endured a lecture by a passerby who gave me a tube and loaned me his pump. He was a dweeb full of himself for being a “long distance rider”. But HE had had the foresight to bring a pump,a tube, and a patch kit. So I let him go on, and thanked him afterwards. That was a lesson in humility I could have done without!

  3. Ransom

    I spent way too much time drooling over purple-anodized parts and way too little time riding.

    When I was a kid, I liked the *idea* of cycling, but it took me a long time to gel with the *practice*.

  4. Nelson

    Crashing… Its always an expensive and painful experience. That’s my only regret on the bike. Off the bike is another story.

  5. Clark

    Sitting up after what I thought was the finish line after a last-lap attack at a crit last summer. Turns out it was the old finish line, but the markings were still visible, and in my blurry, anaerobic state, a win turned into a third place in the blink of an eye.

  6. Souleur

    +1 TallMoots…i love my knee warmers now

    I regret thinking I knew everything, then when my 105 STi shifters crapped out, I decided to wrench on them…after very little wrenching, and taking the top cap off…a spring flew out and a bazillion parts went everywhere. I regretfully realized I was no swiss watchmaker.

    I regret the lids I use to wear, as they were pitiful

    I regret not listening more to my LBS when I knew nothing

    I regret not doing more ‘big’ prom rides, being afraid

    But, one thing ‘je’ ne regrette rien’ is my passion and pursuit of the bike

    so few regrets, so much gained

  7. armybikerider

    I regret the first “real” bike I ever bought. It was a Motobecane Jubilee Sport circa 1982. I was jonesing bad for a bike and the LBS had only one more in stock. It had to be at least a 56, when I ride maybe a 53. it was too big, but I ignored the salesman and got it anyway. I rode it and loved it though!

    My other regret? The faded jeans-look shorts I got in 1993. UGH!

  8. randomactsofcycling

    Not being Catholic, confession is a new thing for me but here goes…..
    I regret freezing my fingers to the CO2 canister last winter when changing a flat.
    I regret some of the ‘retro’ clothing choices I have made because they looked cool. Turns out that some things go out of production because the new stuff really is better.
    I regret the hours I have spent trawling eBay for bargains when I could have billed that time and just spent the difference at the LBS.

    I absolutely do not regret maxing out a credit card to take a cycling tour of Italy a couple of months ago. Best two weeks of my life bar none.

    I still don’t feel any better!

  9. sophrosune

    There are so many. How about spending over 10 years on a pair of Time pedals. All of the anxiety and near accidents caused by merely trying to get into those ridiculous contraptions could have easily been avoided by buying Look pedals from the beginning. I only finally left those torture devices behind when airport luggage inspectors forgot to put one of the pedals back in the case forcing me to buy a new pair of pedals on the other side of the Atlantic.

  10. Salsa_Lover

    How can you post a Mapei Jersey on your regret thread ?

    there is nothing to regret on wearing the coolest jersey of all times. best if you have the full kit 😀

  11. Phil

    I regret…

    Getting sick with glandular fever as a 17 year old (with a decent win/race ratio), recovering, and not getting back on the bike to see how far I could go. I’m a smarter person for it, but it’s my greatest “what if?”.

    Spending money on somewhat good bikes, rather than saving all that money and going with what I knew in my heart of hearts would be the better choice. Silly me.

    Not riding enough, and being scared of riding on the road because bad drivers are just as bad as bad cyclists, and I’m annoyed that the actions of the few affect the treatment of the many.

    1. Padraig

      I regret not learning of Edith Piaf before my 30th birthday. All that time that could have been spent listening to the Sparrow. Ah.

      Thanks for sharing everyone.

  12. Alex

    It´s funny but, as far as I can remember, I only regret SELLING bike stuff, never BUYING. Even the purple anodized parts (never the rasta-rainbow though). I don´t really regret many things in my cycling life, maybe missing a few rides and races, a few cyclisg trips and stuff like this. In the “learning with mistakes” department, I don´t regret the many (many!) bonks and cramps. Those really taught me some useful lessons!

  13. cthulhu

    The bike was my object of freedom. I could go nearly anywhere one it. But it was only a form of transportation back then. My regret not being introduced/picking up cycling as a sport much earlier.

    And I always regret stuffing myself with sweets when I feel down and blue…

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