My husband and I are at a point in our lives where we’re finally allowed the luxury of having grown-up toys. Our grown-up toys? Bikes, and cycling accoutrement. While other people our age are buying big-screen TVs and recliners with cup holders, and taking it easy sitting around their patio fireplace with a Bud Light, we’re accumulating bikes and, well, bike stuff. The list of gear you can get these days for cycling reads like the list of spam combos from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. But instead of “…there’s egg and bacon; egg sausage and bacon; egg and spam; egg bacon and spam; egg bacon sausage and spam; spam bacon sausage and spam; spam egg spam spam bacon and spam; spam sausage spam spam bacon spam tomato and spam…” its:
There’s bike shorts and jerseys, and bike socks and shoes; bike helmets and seat bags and tire levers; bike tires, bike tubes, bike lube, bike goo, bike arm warmers and knee warmers and bicycle gloves; bike bike bike bike bike stuff forever. (Sorry Mel!)
The list goes on. Between us we’ve got enough bike shorts to dress the US Postal Service team. Reach carelessly into a certain kitchen cupboard and you might bring down a cascade of bike water bottles upon your head. We’ve got bike computers, bike tools, and bike bags. The more we ride the more we worry about safety, so now we’ve both got bike lights. (Really, it’s a good idea. You don’t want to get run over, especially at our age.) Chest straps from heart rate monitors are perpetually draped on the shower rod to dry. We have to keep the bike computer away from the laptop or the wireless internet will change the mileage. Used CO2 cartridges rattle around in the recycle drawer, not used for vitalizing beer kegs, but for filling flat tires. We could bike with the bare necessities and still get there, but the accoutrement make it so much easier. After all, we’re not getting any younger.
There’s bike food. Hammer Gel. Sports Beans. Shot Bloks. Cliff Bars. Luna Bars. Need I say more? Yum.
Then there’s bike clothing. I have a jacket whose only pocket is on the back. There was a time I would have thought that was crazy, but not now. It’s great exercise, trying to reach back there and get things in and out of your pocket. I swore I’d never wear “those shorts” until my first long ride in regular shorts. And jerseys. “Why do you need a special shirt to ride a bike?” I used to think, until I found out that those T-shirts I was wearing flapped in the wind, slowing me down, and how are you supposed to carry your food and Kleenex without any pockets? Our oldest son, looking at pictures of us in our biking clothes, says “Why don’t you wait until you’re wearing something less ridiculous looking to take your picture?”
Of course we don’t buy all theses things – they make great gifts. Who wouldn’t want to find a bottle of Chain Lube and a Quick Stick in the toe of their Christmas stocking? Our kids sigh as they stand at the counter in the bike shop and dutifully ask for whatever the current bike gadget is that we need, while their contemporaries are getting their parents sensible gifts like slippers, chocolates and spa packages. Hey, I loved the headlight and Blinky my son got me! Sigh. I guess we are just refusing to grow up, and by implication, grow old. Better than sitting in the hideous recliner with the cup-holders I say, or slogging around the nursing home with walkers. We intend to go out with our boots on, although they’re actually bike shoes.
(Disclaimer: In no way does Huffygirl mean to insult persons who sit in hideous or non-hideous recliners, either with or without cup-holders.)
© Huffygirl 2011
It’s Not Just A Bike, It’s A Star Wars Bike (nerdist.com)
I Biked And Didn’t Wind Up in the Hospital! (letstalkandwalk.com)