Five types of people who will quit cycling

January 14, 2016 § 21 Comments

People get into cycling for different reasons, but what’s as interesting as the things that get people into it are the things that get them out of it. Have you ever noticed that there will be someone who’s “all in” for several years and then suddenly they just vanish?

Over the decades I’ve come up with some key markers for people who may not be sticking around.

  1. People who ride to race. Cyclists who get into cycling from the “sport” vector eventually burn out. No matter how good they are or how quickly they progress (and often because of it), they eventually realize that THIS is as good as they’re ever going to be, and from their vantage point that’s not good enough. For these people, if you’re not winning, you’re a sorry, worthless, rusted out Campy Nuovo Record derailleur spring.
  2. People who love equipment. Cyclists who are infatuated with the stuff and the clothes (incredible, I know, to be infatuated with clown suits) usually quit when they’ve bought everything there is to buy. Top of the line, of course. Closet full of Rapha, garage full of the sickest frames, a wheelset for every dining occasion, these collectors eventually get bored and turn their gaze and their checkbooks somewhere else.
  3. People who love “the group ride.” These riders are blown away when they discover the “wonderful cycling community” and make every ride, every function, every tryst. Then one day they realize we’re the same bunch of assholes they see at the office, only we’re wearing clown suits instead of Armani ones. Boom. Gone. See ya.
  4. People who are snobs. Snobs master everything and do everything at least once. They race, they cruise, they tour, they MTB, they ‘cross, and they have the sickest 1936 Schwinn Excelsior Motorbike, lovingly restored … the only common denominator is that they do it better than you. Then that moment arrives when they get out-snobbed and snap! There are suddenly three shit-tons of great deals on eBay.
  5. People who have The Big Crash. These riders happily pedal along, sometimes for years, thinking that catastrophic injury happens to other people. Then they get run over by a mobile coffee roaster and can’t walk right for sixty months. Significant Other points out insurance benefit limits, the downsides to unemployment, the relative safety of golf, and that’s all she wrote.

On the flip side, there are some people who never, ever stop cycling. They’re just as weird.

  1. People who love riding around. They don’t care on what or where or how fast or dressed in what. They may be faster than a midnight roach under the spotlight of the cracked fridge door, or slower than the apartment handyman when your fully loaded toilet blows up. Doesn’t matter. They just love to ride.
  2. People whose lives are a living fucking hell on earth. These people know that the only escape from hell is on a bicycle. They do triple centuries, double Iron-Persons, and RAAM. You can have their bike when you pry their cold, dead testicles (or labia) from off the saddle.
  3. Drunks. Drunks love bikes. It’s pretty darned simple. No one knows why.
  4. People who are super cheap. Nothing is cheaper than biking except walking and being dead. When done properly, riding actually puts money in your bank account. (We’re still working out the details of this and will let you know when it’s perfected.)
  5. People who never grow up. Sound familiar? I knew it would.

END

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§ 21 Responses to Five types of people who will quit cycling

  • dan says:

    Wow, thanks wanker! After all these years I figured out that it was the maturity curve that was always so illusive. Now my ol’ lady will finally “get me”

  • Dan K says:

    You know what rocks? Commuting on a single speed clown bike in the rain in your work clothes without a helmet in France. Why?

    You already know.

  • Edwin says:

    A new Rule #5: Never grow up. I’m pretty good at that. Hope to never quit cycling.

  • nealhe says:

    Hello fsethd-san and All,

    Sometimes it is the little things that ring the memory bell ….. when we lived in Hawaii …. so long ago it was a different lifetime … we used to open the fridge late at night … and sure enough …. indestructible gigantic cockroaches caught in the light …. and we could hear their footsteps as they scurried for cover under the sink.

  • Paul Thober says:

    For years I rode to race, I still love my bikes and group rides, I’m a snob, but I haven’t had the Big Crash. I’m an immature cheapskate that loved to ride around stoned and/or drunk. No living hell though. Do I ride or quit?

    • fsethd says:

      You have all options available, however, given your advanced age and long history of refusing to give up a thoroughly useless pastime, I’d suggest that you are likely a lifer.

  • Spinner says:

    I particularly love cycling inspired interactions with motorists. Strangely, some of the “riders who quit” that I’ve cycled with don’t like fists fights along perfect country roads on beautiful July mornings. I LIVE for such encounters and riding the bicycle supplies them!!! Nice upper body workouts too….

  • Flip side – #1 and #5

  • key says:

    thanks for that ‘mobile coffee roaster’ shout out!

    roaches, come on, now! i scoff at your tiny texas roaches and your lazy hawaiian roaches and present to you the incredible southern japanese flying roaches. yes, they fucking fly! some have airline logos embossed right on their wings!

    come dusk they fill the sky and hunt down small pets and toddlers like huge aliens from an old vin diesel movie.

    we trained our dog, ‘whip’ the whippet, to hunt them down because one morning we came downstairs and 2 of them were drinking shochu and playing frisbee with the roach hotel we had set out for them the night before!

    this post was about roaches, right?

  • Uncle Chainwhip says:

    been neutral on your diatribe so far, but really like this—-some of your best. keep up the good work!

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