Friday, May 11, 2007

When Did You Commit?

Com·mit (kuh-mĭt'), v., To pledge or obligate one's own self.

Just like Go Clipless, I committed to mountain biking when I switched to clipless pedals. The disntictive "SNAP" set me apart from riders who still used clips. It took some getting used to, including several low-speed-can't-get-out-of the- pedals crashes, but I got the hang of it. Now, I can't imagine riding a bike without them.

But, on the road, the point at which I felt I had committed wasn't when I got clipless pedals, it was when I shaved my legs. While some mountain bikers shave their legs, I think the majority do not. On the road, though, it is much more common.

On the road, we are in a perpetual search for the draft, for the sweet spot. You, therefore, must depend upon the other riders in the group, not only for the draft but also to be steady, both in their line and their pace. There is no better compliment to give a roadie than "He is a steady wheel."

When riding with people you don't know, how can you tell? For me, its 2 ways. First, their bike, is it clean and in good mechanical shape, i.e. no squeaks or creaks. A fine tuned bike is a sign of the rider's commitment to the sport. The second way is whether he shaves his legs. Why? Because it is time consuming, goes against conventional gender roles and can even be painful. In short, it reveals a level of the rider's commitment. I know several riders who do not shave and they are very steady, but I already know them.

If given the choice, I will follow a leg shaver before I follow a hairy legger.

1 comment:

TRI Vortex said...

To take all the pain out of the equation. Coming from an ex-swimmer: try Epil-stop. You spray it on, wipe it off with a warm/damp towel 5-10 minutes later. Add some lotion and Bam! Done! No pain, no CUTS. It sounds retarded but you get it on-line or at one of those As-Seen-On-TV stores.