Top Ten Reasons for doing the Race Ride!
Ok... from an old article I found, and slightly modified...
“Nothing compares with the simple pleasure of a Race Ride.”– President John F. Kennedy
Why ride a Race Ride? When I asked 10 observers of the bicycle industry, they replied with inspired observations, unprintable expletives, lively endorsements of guilt-free dessert consumption and one common complaint — “Jeez, to pare it down to just one reason is difficult.”
A Zen teacher once asked his students why they did the Race Ride. One said he rode to carry potatoes. Another cycled to observe the world. A third said it cleared the mind, and a fourth said cycling put him in harmony with all sentient beings. The Zen master was pleased, but when the fifth replied, “I race my bicycle to race my bicycle,” the teacher sat at the student’s feet and said,
“I am your student.”
Albert Einstein discovered the theory of relativity while doing a Race Ride. And Ernest Hemingway said that, “It is by doing a Race Ride that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them.”
And with government figures showing that 64 percent of American adults and 30 percent of children are overweight, it seems there are plenty of reasons to do the Race Ride.
How about gas prices hovering just below $4 a gallon? Or just take a gander at these reasons from 10 of the industry’s wittiest and most fanatical cyclists, and you’ll brave hot and cold just to hit the road or trails this spring.
* * *
"Quotes from top figures in the cycling industry." (Slighty modified)
1. Racing a bike is liberating in that I (Alan)-still-feel-like-a-kid sort of way, and I'm not trapped. And parking is always free on a bike. And my bike starts every morning, even in
2. Without doing the Race Ride, I’d die consuming the quantities of beer that I (Fred) do. I also race for the scenery. And what other opportunity do I have for stuffing me into too-small Lycra bib shorts?
3. I (Janice) race because it gives me an excuse for shaving my legs.
4. While pedaling over hill and dale, people usually notice and often talk to me (Joaquin). Because of this I've seen the good, the bad and the ugly. Like a Southern Baptist song, the good has overcome. This has been the best reason of all for bike racing. I'm approachable when on a bike. It's fun talking to kids and strangers about a sport and way of life that I love. Humanity awakens at the sight of a two-wheeled traveler.
5. I (Bob Roll) race my bike to coalesce the burning pure horrific rage as you face knuckleheads, debutantes and four-wheeled freaks that you encounter in traffic.
6. Your ass (Chris). As in, if you race a bike your butt ends up looking fairly tight — like two VW Beetles parking.
7. Racing a bike has always been a major symbol of independence and freedom. But the real reasons I (Robin) go out and pound the pedals are sex, drugs and rock 'n roll. Sex: As the gap to geezerhood closes, stayin in shape for my favorite activity becomes even more important. Drugs: A long time ago I realized that maintaining my awesome boy-toy bod while enjoying my modest beer habit was going to require a lot more exercise than it did in my studly youth. Rock 'n roll: While my guitar skills have never surpassed the mediocre stage, the stuff I play in my head when I race is awesome. Just give me the steady rhythm of my fixed gear, some open road and turn it to 11, Jimi, ’cuz today we’re gonna rock!
8. Some people train so they can race; I (Steve) race so I can train, so the all-important workout doesn’t get shoved to the back burner so easily. Nothing inspires like knowing you're going to get your butt kicked in the next race if you don’t train. The fact that I get my butt kicked anyway is completely beside the point.
9. My wife, Liz, thinks cycling is great way to spend time as a family while burning a few calories. For her, the family ride is quality time. Then again, she does have the trailer with 50 or so stuffed animals and the 2-year-old singing “Old McDonald” attached to her tandem as we climb what must be Mont Ventoux. Hmm ... now that I think about it, cycling is the best way to burn a bazillion calories and hang with the family.
10. I (John) live and breathe bike transportation. Does that make me a granola-crunching, world-saving utopian? Actually, my racing has a lot to do with what's good for me. Racing makes me healthy. It saves me time. It makes me feel good and gives me energy to do more in life. Of course, getting around by bike is a green thing to do. And altruism does have its rewards. Frankly, I wouldn’t mind saving the world. Makes one want to crunch some granola!