|Meeting up outside of Revolution Cycles|
I wish it were as easy as saying all cyclists are just a part of one big happy family. I wish there was a common respect and admiration among all cyclists no matter what they ride, how they dress, how many miles they put in or how fast they put those miles down. Sadly, there is bike snobbery, and I even find myself laughing at some of the remarks found on Bikesnobnyc at times. I don't, however, judge anyone for the type of bike they are on or what they wear--getting my ass handed to me time and time again by guys riding old steel steeds (some fixed) while they are in regular street clothes, has made me realize no matter how much fancy new gear you have, someone will always come up next to you and make your jaw drop while schooling you riding old school...and I love it!
Last night, two very different cycling worlds collided on a Bombay Social Ride starting from Revolution Cycles in Madison. Bombay is historically a roadie crew--skinny tires, carbon/titanium or aluminum, lycra, full kits and mostly middle aged. Revolution, however, tends to lean quite a bit more towards steel is real, wool jerseys or street clothes, fatbikes, beer or flasks and under 45. When I was invited on the social ride, I thought to myself "hmmmm...I wonder how this is going to play out?" but I knew I was all in since I tend to have one foot in each group and can flip flop at a moments notice.
So what did I choose to ride/wear? Amusingly enough I passed over my steel gravel steed and my single speed and went for my plastic bike as well as wearing a kit. Why not? I rolled up to Rev and found a parking lot full of misfit toys--I say this in a very loving way. Everything from plastic racing frames with 23mm tires to fatbikes, dutch commuters, and steel fixies. Things were about to get fun.
Rollout was mellow as we meandered through the city and into Maple Bluff. The problem was, I had an itch that needed scratching and some pent up energy which needed to be burned off. I wasn't the only one it seemed because the pace quickened in a hurry and the group split in two--the social crew were the smart ones.
Our group's bike collection consisted of a few plastic frames, a high end cross bike, two steel fixies, and a couple steel cross bike/touring/gravel frankenstein bikes. As the pace went over 20mph, I was giggling inside out of pure joy since we were all sticking together. I can't say how much this sort of thing excites me since as a child, it was always drilled into my head that roadies can't mix with anyone else. Here we were, all having a blast, acting like kids and dreaming of the beer that awaited us at the end. To make things even better, the two fixie riders threw it down on the two climbs and worked the rest of us over.
|Two fixies, one cross bike, one frankenstein bike=a happy family|
Both groups came back together at Rev at the end for refreshments and relaxation. There was no teasing, no judgement and I'm pretty sure we all proved the common bond is two wheels--be it skinny or fat, carbon or steel.
|Even the beer was mixed. Craft local and PBR|