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A Great Chapter of Life Ends

A title like that sounds like a traveler who is announcing that they are going to hang up the keys, or at least, close their blog. Nothing quite so drastic. 

I came back from the bicycle shop sniffling and whimpering, like a puppy with an ouchie stuck in his paw. But my friend in Mayberry-for-Hippies just laughed at my silliness. I was halfway serious though. A big chapter in my life has been closed: I sold my road bicycle. Now I am down to one bike, a mountain bike. Earlier in my career I traveled with four and a half bikes in my van.

It has been a wonderful part of life: road cycling, that is. I built my annual travel schedule around it. Most of my friends were bicyclists. I felt happier road cycling than at any other time. 

With an advertisement like that, why give it up? Primarily because of safety and better agreement between backwoods camping and mountain biking. You need to camp in town to be a road biker. 

As a help for anyone taking up road bicycling, note that there are more off-street recreational trails than before. That is the good news. But there are more cars, and half the drivers are more concerned with playing with their electronic gadgets than looking out the windshield.  So if you must ride on roads, do yourself a big favor and ride with a club or at least a small group of riders. I always did; perhaps that is why I have never been seriously injured on a bike, despite doing it most of my adult life.

When readying the road bicycle for sale, I was reminded of all the silly fads that bicyclists have been suckers for. Don't worry: I will spare the reader any standard stump speeches. Suffice it to say that this was the last time I will be bothered by hard-to-mount skinny tires and those damned Presta valves.

Thinking back, I have known so many other bicyclists who were admirable on at least some level. But they weren't perfect either. In any group of voluntary association, one always comes away feeling, "I can't live with 'em, and I can't live without 'em." That sounds bittersweet on paper, but tonight it feels more sweet than bitter.


Ed said…
Been there done that.

About off-street recreational trails. My experience with them for the most part was negative. They were all mixed use so there were multiple hazards i.e. walkers, walkers with dogs, walkers/bicyclist with small children, inline and skateboarders. I found them to be as dangerous as riding in the street but that was before everyone was texting, probably worse now both on and off street.
You certainly can't bike at full speed on off-street recreational trails because of their "multiple use." I always like Flagstaff's trails, which were unpaved, and forced bicyclists to slow down.
Anonymous said…
Smart move. I know too many folks who have suffered injuries on city streets. My best friend's brother, while cycling, was killed by a hit and run driver. Happy Trails!

I too know of many injuries. Most were solo cyclists, rather than club riders.
Steve said…
I am a little behind in your blog but interesting to see this post. The reason being just the past couple of weeks I have looked at one road bike on the bike trainer inside to ride along with my newest road bike leaning up against the way ... neither is ridden. Yet the first Mtn bike I bought 2-3 years ago gets ridden .... so I've been thinking of selling my newest road bike and keeping the oldest, custom made frame Romic. Somewhere the desire to ride the road bike has disappeared and seems to get farther away with each new year.
You are fortunate to have some trails or roads to ride the mountain bike on.