I feel as though I owe a few of you an apology, or at the very least an explanation. As an opening statement, let me just say, I don’t hate watts, not really. I don’t hate cyclo-computers either. I’m not anti-aerobars or opposed to Strava. If you’re wearing a heartrate monitor, I’ll still hug you, and if you know your 1-hour FTP we can still be friends. In fact, we never stopped being friends.
I understand the things you do as expressions of a deep love for cycling and an insatiable curiosity about what you might be capable of. These are good things, although, in your intensity, sometimes you frighten or confuse other people, like your romantic partner and/or the guy at the bike shop who doesn’t understand why you want to order a TT helmet.
You neither frighten nor confuse me. I see you.
One of the things I’ve tried to do with TCI though, is to stake out a slightly different editorial position, a perch much closer to the entry-level cyclist and a bit further from the serious cyclists who might be engaged currently in a training block or working on sharpening their end of summer tan lines. This is a conscious decision aimed at demystifying the act of riding a bike and creating an array of content that is accessible to people who might not have watched Paris-Roubaix on VHS tapes while riding rollers in the winter.
The thing is, you serious cyclists are easy targets. Your ways can seem arcane and arbitrary. Your style can seem obscure. In poking gentle fun at you these last two years, I have not in any way wanted to offend you. My aim was just to use humor as a way to let less serious cyclists know they can belong here, and maybe to let a bit of the air out of the whole cycling endeavor, as people perceive it.
But it’s not for me to tell you to take riding a bike or yourself less seriously. You do you. Be as intense as you want. Let your Type A flag fly. Create spreadsheets. Strive for KOMs. Optimize your diets. Shave above the knee.
If you write enough words, you’re bound to offend someone eventually. I have probably written more than enough at this point. If you’re still here and reading these words, then our relationship isn’t beyond hope. I apologize for ribbing you so much. I’m sorry for implying you might bee part of some ill-defined problem that is somehow keeping people off bikes. None of that is right.
I am going to attempt a minor course correction, one that allows even the most aerodynamic among you to stay with the group. And if I stray, I hope you’ll remind me I said all these things, and that I’m nothing like a role model myself.
Find the featured image above by Daniel Hughes and a nice piece about Alpe d’Huez at rideshimano.com. TCI is sponsored, in part, by Shimano North America.