A little bit ago, I ran a post here called “Are You a Cyclist or a Biker?” It got lots of response, but some folks thought that applying labels to ourselves is counter productive.
One reader answered the biker-cyclist question, but then posed one of his own — a better one, to my mind:
Better yet, what kind of cyclist are you? Over the holidays, I found that I had become a “care-taker” cyclist. I was going through the motions of a 30 mile ride without putting a whole lot of effort into it. Fortunately I snapped out of the lull and now enjoy “working” at it.
That got me thinking. I hadn’t considered what kind of cyclist I am, because I always took it for granted. I ride a road bike, therefore I am a road biker.
But there are different kinds of road bikers. And I’ve got road biker friends who can’t wait to get dirty on mountain bikes. I’ve described myself as a “B” rider here — a charter member of the 15 mph club — but even that doesn’t answer the whole question.
I’ve been a “caretaker” cyclist before. That’s not a lot of fun. I don’t race, except for the occasional time trial, when I’m racing against myself (Oh, all right, I do pay attention to certain guys’ times). I enjoy riding for distances, but I’m beginning to think that 100 miles is over doing it, and 100 kilometers might be just right. I’m not the most gregarious guy you’ll ever meet, but I do enjoy the social aspect of cycling, which is one reason I joined a club.
Mostly, I ride for fun and exercise. Notice I didn’t say fitness. I’d have to push myself harder to lose weight through cycling, but a one-hour ride can get me to sleep longer and deeper at night, can curb my appetite so I’m not eating so much, can slow my resting heart rate and lower my blood pressure.
The fun of riding comes when I go places I haven’t been before, or when I’m with a group of like-minded congenial people, or when I push myself a little bit, and find that I’m up to the challenge.
I guess I’d call myself a “recreational” cyclist. If someone can provide a more descriptive term for the kind of riding I do, I’m open to your suggestion.
How about you? How would you describe your riding?