TCI Friday

TCI Friday works best when you participate. Read. Ponder. Give your two cents. Or three.

One of the goals of meditation is to gain some distance from your thoughts and feelings, to be able to observe them without judgment, without attachment. In this process we may identify automatic behaviors and reactions that aren’t serving us anymore. We may become less reactive and more responsive as a result, or maybe we’ll just do less dumb s#*t.

For example, someone taught me a long time ago to take the valve stem cap that comes with an inner tube and throw it away. This was a common roadie move. “That cap’s not doing anything for you! It’s extra weight!” they might have said. Is it though? Is it really?

I leave the cap on now.

This question and many more, brought to you by the fine folks at Shimano North America.

This sort of reconsideration might even affect your judgments and biases. I used to think all full-suspension mountain bikes looked awful, weird, tube shapes, odd stances. I couldn’t appreciate them at all aesthetically, a problem I’ve never had with road or gravel bikes. But then I rode a few, and then a few more, and now my eye easily conforms to their curious mien. I see the aggression. I see the grace.

What changed?

I used to hang onto wheels for dear life, road, gravel, mountain. It didn’t matter, although the spacing varied a bit. The point is, I never let myself be dropped if I could at all help it. Now, I don’t let it bother me. I drift off the back if I need to. I’m not riding anyone else’s ride but mine. I can sit up, rest a bit, and go again later. Or I can just be the weakest link.

This is much harder, if I’m honest, than just leaving the valve stem cap on, but personal growth is hard, isn’t it?

This week’s TCIF asks, what stuff do you do on or to your bike that you’re not really sure why you do it? Like someone just told you at some point that that’s how it’s done, or you just created a habit willy-nilly, as people do. What can you change? What should you change?

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Join the conversation
  1. Barry Johnson says

    Valve stems, tire logos lined up. Matters not but a hard habit to break since 1986.

    1. Emlyn Lewis says

      @Barry – I do that too, as if finding the valve stem is a massive challenge on a 700c wheel.

  2. TominAlbany says

    I used to tell people ‘how to do it right’ and now I keep my mouth shut. Fact is, I was full of shit anyway.

  3. dr sweets says

    I take the labels/decals off of my forks. 99.9% of the forks I’ve had are black and for whatever reason I don’t care for having the first thing I see on my bike being an advertisement for a suspension company even if I like said product. Lately (the last few years) I’ve placed a small white Baphomet sticker at the bottom of the left fork slider just for shits and giggles. Additionally, I’ve always decorated my helmets with stickers often cutting them up to make them look different or say something different. I’ve done this since I wore helmets to ramp skate as a kid. No reason other than I prefer things that no one else is going to have.

    1. Emlyn Lewis says

      @sweets – I like your habits. I’m not a fan of being a rolling billboard either.

  4. spokejunky says

    I check my tire pressure, every single time before riding. I no longer know why, but do remember it was a shop owner I spoke to about it. I also check the cranks for play. The latter is because I used to own a set of Zipp Vuma Quad that used some proprietary ISIS BB. It loosened itself even after properly setting torque. I eventually ended up stripping it on a long ride where it started out tight and then ended up on a cleat after proper stripping. From that point on in my life I do some form of crank tightness test.

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