Our leader for the Friday Group Ride, Robot, is away on a badly needed vacation, so instead of just sitting in, I’m stepping in to make sure this ride rolls out as planned.
For the last few days I’ve been in Copper Mountain, Colorado, attending the introduction of the 2014 product line for Specialized. I’ve had the opportunity to be exposed to the latest and greatest in road products, none of which I’m allowed to discuss until next week when our embargo ends. Honestly, I don’t get invited to these events very often, but when I do, it feels a bit like visiting Santa’s workshop.
The interesting thing about visiting the launch of an entire model year, rather than a single product, is that I’m being exposed to bikes and products that aren’t normally part of what I write about. There were plenty of times in the past that I had a chance to be exposed to stuff outside my central interests, and I passed on them. Just why, I can no longer say.
With so many bikes out there, so many styles of riding and with a son for whom the world is a big unfolding adventure, I’ve begun thinking about what cycling will be for him. I’m not speaking of the Deuce; the lengths brothers will go to differentiate, he could wind up completely bookish. That’s because his brother Philip, also known as Mini-Shred, clearly loves bicycles. My choices in cycling are unlikely to be his choices.
People like to say cycling is an aspirational sport. By this we generally mean that it gives us a way to aspire to greater fitness, the better you. But the presence of my children in my life has changed my ideas about aspiration. I’m beginning to see things through the lens of what Mini-Shred’s enjoyment will be. As a result, it’s given me a fresh lease on what it means to be a cyclist. I love bikes, full stop. The future is likely to include some types of bikes I didn’t used to ride, if my near-religious experience on a six-inch travel bike yesterday is any indication.
All things being equal, we’d all like to be faster. That’s an easy aspiration to name. Today’s question takes that ideal in a different direction: What do you aspire to as a cyclist? Is it commuting by bike more? Is it ‘cross racing? Is it your first enduro? Do tell.
Image: Ian McLagan