Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Slave to the Wheel

I ride bikes, but I'm not a cyclist. I ride bikes, but I'm not a roadie. I'm not a MTB'er. I'm not the fastest. I'm not the best. I'm not a whole bunch of things. What I am is a slave to the wheel.

I've grown up on bikes. I became a man on bikes. Hell, bikes brought my wife into my life. Bikes have riddled my body with scars and injuries. Bikes have filled my brain with some of the greatest experiences of my life.


As you can see, I'm an addict. Think not? Between my wife and I, we have 13 bikes hanging up in my workshop. We ride them all. I'm dirt poor, but somehow I have around 30K in bikes and gear. I've been blessed to be taught by some of the best bike mechanics around. That's the only way I can afford this addiction.

I gotta give a shout out to my local bike shop, Bicycles and More. Over the years they have allowed me to work off my running tab. God bless Ron and Wanda. Without their help, all my bikes would be Huffys.

What I do have going for me is my beautiful, bike loving wife. She loves bikes just as much as I do. Together, we ride through life. We go uphill and downhill through life. Bikes are in our souls. She's a racer. I'm her bike boy. We make a perfect team.

What I find in this scene of "bike culture" is the abundance of clicks and labels. From the hipster, to the consummate roadie, all have pre-conceived notions of each other. So many labels. While this is an effect of the human condition, I find that it doesn't work for myself. I love ALL types of riding. All of us are brothers and sisters. All forms of riding have their own value and validity.

I give mad props to all forms of riding. Watching a criterium is just as cool as watching someone shred a halfpipe. I love to see people just having fun and enjoying the wheel! Road bike, BMX, Flatland, MTB, Cyclocross, Fixed. It's all good to me. I don't train, I ride. If it's not fun, I don't do it. Period.

This is going to be a place to celebrate what the wheel gives to me and other riders. My bikes own me. They consumed my soul very long ago. I am powerless to stop it. I will be riding until my beat up body goes into the ground and I become one with the earth. I will always be a slave to the wheel.

"In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king."
Tom Waits