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Life is a
Bikexchange.com Column #10
The Born Again Cyclist
By Gianna Bellofatto
Ms. Bellofatto is a freelance writer and avid cyclist who whose column, Life Is a Bike, appears regularly in The Bicycle Exchange.
I am told that nothing is more irritating than a reformed smoker who expounds on the virtues of non-smoking. That's because you probably haven't met a born-again-cyclist. Typically the behavior is beyond Life is a Bike stance. The way they talk about biking, you think they invented the wheel.
Bikes come in all colors, sizes and origins. There are the sleek road bikes, versatile hybrids, the mountain bikes for downhill racing, and an array of handlebars and components to personalize the special needs of any cyclist. To say one type of bike is better would be to ignore the riding style of the cyclist. Then why do some cyclists preach as if their bike is the answer to life?
Not too long ago while enroute to Piermont, NY, to view the Hudson River, I met several cyclists resting at an outside café. There was the usual friendly exchange of greetings that communicated to cyclists that we're one in spirit. However, when one cyclist looked at my old ten-speed and said, "You're riding a sled. Don't you want to be born again?" I knew instantly knew I as among reformed cyclists.
"I was born once, thank you." I replied. "Besides, I'm a Zen cyclist." He looked at me sort of strange and laughed. "It's tough being a Zen biker," I continued. "The past no longer is. The future has yet to arrive. Half the time I don't know where I am." After puzzled glances, he and his buddies walked away.
Most born again cyclists had a period during their lives when they weren't riding, or were reckless riders. Now, however, they have reformed to a higher standard. Born-agains wear only the proper clothes and shoes, and speak the proper bicycle lingo. They don't ride their bikes, they commune with them. The Life is a Bike attitude means that you were born on the saddle, not born again. What does it matter whether you're riding the latest Titanium frame? What matters is that you believe in cycling.
While riding recently, I was hit by a car. I have since immersed myself with a brand new bike. I am now the proud owner of a shiny new dream machine with the latest component technology; beautiful saddle, and drop-handlebars for the best in aerodynamic speed. As I said, there is nothing more exhilarating than the rediscovery of bicycling. Born again? Why of course. Life is a Bike, isn't it time you started to live?
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