Vienna, VA
Post #: 61
NY Times: "Just Ride"

I read the book (about $9 on Kindle), skimming a few sections since I agreed with so much that I did not feel the need to read more than the first paragraph.

I have always been an “Unracer”, but have allowed myself to be sucked into some of the untruths the book seeks to correct. I never wanted to be an athlete, but wanted to be seen as serious, and do not think I was during my first ten years in the PPTC (1988-98) in large part because I was riding hybrids. I adopted the clothes, shoes, and gloves but resisted the extreme race style bikes, eventually opting for a touring bike with handlebars and seat dead level.

Oddly enough, it was looking at the bikes from Rivendell Bicycle Works (started by the book's author) that most influenced my thinking about what I wanted, although I was persuaded to get a custom fit. My proportions are not typical, so a single measurement is not enough to determine good fit, which I found out the hard, painful, way with my first road bike I tried. A custom Rivendell would have been more expensive than my Serotta and taken more than a year compared to two months.

After retiring, I decided I needed a “hop on and ride” bike, so I also have a single-speed (freewheel) with a chain guard, toe clips, fenders, and 700x32 tires (I need to add a kickstand). And of course I wear street clothes riding it. With this, I get a near perfect score on the “Unracer” quiz, missing only the question about naming professional riders or teams.

I have more fun going somewhere, such as to a museum in DC, than on most organized rides. Club rides seem to be about training, not touring. Which is not to say that I do not sometimes take the attitude of one of the final chapters; #87 “Keeping Score So You Always Win”. My ride category is men over 60 with a history of asthma, so I always come in first.

I am not really into the strict retro style, but having done three of the Tweed/Seersucker Rides, perhaps that is one way to go: have at least one meetup ride each month were spandex, ride computers, and featherweight components are forbidden.
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