What I Talk About When I Talk About Cycling

I was excited about riding with F’s friends, because something I really dig about most of the cycling community is they are inclusive. I mean, it’s also a heavily stratified community where as I explained to C today, there are

people like me who spend three hundred bucks on a single-speed commuter and barely do any maintenance on it for two years but who love the shit out of that bike anyway,

and then there are those who spend twelve k on a bike and spend more time maintaining it than they do riding it,

and of course there are what Mum was thrilled to learn are called MAMILs, Middle-age Men in Lycra.

But within your own strata the community members are all generally inclusive, which is maybe a quality of something being a strata.

Anyway, I hope I make it to this waterfall with this crew tomorrow because I’ve been craving community lately and have not had easy access to it, mostly because I’ve been in hibernation and partly because a lot of people in this part of the world, the Antipodean West, don’t value community anymore, a whole other subject.

The segue I’m getting to is it will be a good chance to initiate my awareness of how incorrectly I ride my bike, after chatting with a couple of the lads working at a bike shop I like in town.

I thought about hitting up the crowd for bike shop suggestions but (see above) I don’t really have a crowd I feel like accessing right now, so I just went to this street where I forget there used to be a great indie bookshop, because that was another part of the day’s mission I guess I’m leaving for last.

I started out shopping, sorely tempted to just spend money because I’ve been such a tightwad lately and I need to eventually start buying kit if I want to tour anywhere, and I know I have to take the plunge somewhere and start with my best current model of good-range gear, a model that would rank somewhere between flimsy and absent.

They immediately presented as genuine young lads interested in cycling, and an hour and a half later I’d learnt more about how much I don’t know about touring than I actually know about touring, and I feel like I made some new friends, to such an extent I bought them a copy of Haruki Murakami’s memoir, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, which is something I have done once before and found immensely rewarding, so I relished the opportunity to do it again, gift a stranger books.

Top-notch book this one – my copy is riddled with underlining, as it is full of wonderfully, pithy one-liners that fucking crackle with insight.

Top-notch book this one – my copy is riddled with underlining, as it is full of wonderful, pithy one-liners that fucking crackle with insight.

I chose it for these guys because we got onto the subject of how optimised cycling and meditation so beautifully complement each other. That’s obviously the digested abbreviation, at which we arrived after meandering through all sorts of stuff about heart-rate zones and bike fitting and spin classes.

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