Wednesday, February 11, 2009

You Know You're a Cyclist When....

Where I work we have an incentive program where if someone does something extraordinary you can write up a thank you card and give it to them. This entitles them a trip to the goodie box. The goodie box is similar to the goodie box they have at the dentist office for kids who don’t cry except instead of super balls and cheap rings they have things like free movie tickets and laser pointers.

The other day an Office Assistant was showing us some of the new items that she was adding to the goodie box. One of the items was a luggage scale which basically was a scale with two hooks on it. One of my co-workers who is a mountain biker said “I don’t think I would ever use that to weigh my luggage but I would definitely use that to weigh my bikes.” I thought that was a great idea and when I agreed with him I got the look of disbelief from all the rest of my co-workers like “What? You would use it for the same thing? What planet are you guys from?” Whatever, they just don’t understand what it’s like being a goofy cyclist.

This got me to thinking that there really should be a list of “You know you’re a cyclist when…” on the internet that I could relate to. My first search produced more hits than I could ever read. Here is a list of my favorites including some that I added.

You Know You’re a Cyclist When….
  • You can give instantaneous directions to any corner in the city, but only for those using bike paths and public transportation.
  • You keep deodorant and baby wipes at the office.
  • You are polite to most everyone, you blush at some rap songs, but you swear like a drunken sailor when a grandma in an SUV cuts you off. (That’s for you Lizzylou)
  • Although you speak only English, you're perfectly capable of pronouncing several words in Italian and French
  • When someone asks for advice on buying a bike, you either: a) ask, "How many thousands do you want to spend?" b) assail them with so many questions about intended use, riding style and the like, that you make buying a bicycle sound like rocket science and unintentionally put them off the idea.
  • When that same person reacts by saying, "It's only a bicycle," your jaw drops and your eyes bug out, and you're only half kidding.
  • A car goes by with two members of the opposite sex carrying two bikes. Later, you can't recall their hair color or what make car, but you can ID the bikes' make, model and color.
  • You have 3 bikes and you absolutely need more.
  • You sometimes wish you had a longer commute to work, just so you could ride more.
  • You ride 50 miles, one way, with a twenty in your pocket and if you actually buy something, you consider leaving the change because of the weight.
  • You consider the color of the bikes hanging from your ceiling when selecting home decor.
  • You missed more than two family events this summer due to scheduling conflicts with bike rides.
  • Another cyclist asks you for the location of the nearest bike shop and you fix their bike on the spot.
  • When actually driving, you stop at a red light and since no pedestrians are in the crosswalk you start to drive right through before you realize you are NOT on a bike, and slam on the brakes.
  • You know the location of all the major potholes between your home and office.
  • You can't think of the last time you saw any of your friends who don't bike.
  • Any one of your bikes is worth more than your car.
  • You choose an apartment/house solely on the basis of whether or not it is flat enough to ride into and how close the good roads/trails are.
  • Your bike rack is worth more than your car.
  • The first thing you ask when you regain consciousness is "How's my bike".
  • You actually move farther from work so your bike commute will be longer.
  • You mentally log every meal as "good fuel" or "bad fuel".
  • Your learn you have X money left over after paying bills and the first thing you do is reach for the nearest bicycling catalog.
  • You dream of winning the lottery, and the first thing you think of is "how many/which bikes can that money buy?"
  • You can tell your significant other with a straight face that it’s too hot to mow the lawn then take off and ride a century.
  • Someone in a car asks for directions and you accidentally give them a route that includes motor vehicle barriers, or a route that bypasses all freeways/busy roads
  • You buy a car based on whether or not a bike will fit in the trunk/back
  • You pull up hard on the steering wheel trying to jump your car over a pot-hole.
  • You know the distance of every point of interest within 20 miles of your house as well as the location of every pot-hole along the way.
  • You refuse to buy a couch because that patch of wall space is taken up by your bikes.
  • You have more up-to-date knowledge of bike specs and gear than the staff at your local shop, the reps in your community and the editors at national magazines.
  • You have a killer set of bodybuilder quads and a pair of angel hair pasta thin arms.
  • You think about each hill as a cyclist, even when you are driving in a car.
  • You calculate distances between cities by how long it would take you by bike. ( 21 bike days from St. Petersburg to St. Louis)
  • You know how many miles you rode last night, last week, last year.
  • You don’t find it over sharing to tell people you just met how many miles you rode last night, last week, last year.
  • You have a Biker’s Tan. (bottom 2 /3 of your legs, lower 1/2 your arms, and two little circles on the tops of your hands)
  • You get sad when your Biker’s Tan fades.
  • You have far too many photos of yourself on or around your bicycle next to signs at the top of mountain passes, Welcome To So and So State, National Park entrances, starting lines of bike rides, historic sites, and in front of bicycle shops.
  • You’ve lost sleep over the trailer vs pannier debate - of course you own both.
  • You can’t bring yourself to recycle any magazine remotely related to cycling.
  • You’ve given your bike a nickname.
  • You’ve used that nickname out loud -- in mixed company -- and felt no shame or embarrassment.
  • You lift your butt off the car seat as you go over potholes, railroad tracks and speed bumps.
  • You turn the air vents of your car to blow directly into your face and imagine you are on a bike ride.
  • You have enough funny/scary animals chasing me stories to close a bar of rowdy Irishmen or outlast a windbag uncle at the family reunion. (note: No windbag uncle? Hmm, could be you)
  • You know the other definition of Critical Mass.
  • You are an expert at spotting thunderstorms, tornadoes, windstorms, marauding cattle and ice cream stands from a distance.
  • You have been caught in a thunderstorm while still in the saddle blinking away water and grinning all the way home.
  • You check your helmet mirror for what’s behind you even when you are off the bike and not wearing it.
  • You hate headwinds, hills and trucks parked on the shoulder of any descent.
  • You forget, much like a woman after childbirth, all the pain, headwinds humidity and hills within days of a long ride, and start dreaming about the next.
  • You can say "My bicycle has been stolen!" in six different languages.
  • You wave to drivers with bike racks.
  • You have convinced yourself and others that protein bars are tasty.
  • You have tested your hypothermic limits and found that they can be expanded with pedal speed, layering and hot cocoa.
  • You agree with the statement; "If everything feels in control, you just aren’t going fast enough."
  • You’ve set your alarm for 3 in the morning to watch a live mountain stage of the Tour de France and you actual do it.
  • You try to talk with you hands just to be like Bob Roll
I'm sure this list is far from complete. Feel free to add to it if you can think of others.


Jeff said...

I don't think anybody wants to be like Bob Roll. ("Tour day France!")

You can add:
- You don't get mad you have to slow down for cyclists when driving.
- You slow down for cyclists when driving.
- You are jealous of the cyclists that you slow down for when driving.

Anonymous said...

Mike, you could be the Jeff Foxworthy of cycling. I think that's the most exhaustive list I've seen so far. Thanks for the personal reference to my potty mouth by the way :p

Jenny said...

that is hillarious. I do believe you fit every one of those. I especially like Jeff's additions, you are always jealous of and know the make and model of every bike you ever pass (or slow down for). Speaking of ice cream you need to read Jenna's Cold Stone post

LVP said...

I am anxious to know the nickname you have for your bike - or each of your bikes.

Mike J said...

I'm kind of boring with my bike name. My bike is named "Bike". Jenny's is names "Ride".