Words of wisdom from the Editor-in-Chief of our American sister magazine Bicycling
Get everyone you love on a bicycle at least once. * I leave water in my bottles all the time. Always have. It gains terroir. * You can’t head out for a good long ride and talk through everything going on in your life with a KOM. *
One time at the base of the Tourmalet I knew I was fit, then by the time I got to the top I knew I was fat. That’s perspective. * Italian threads in a bottom bracket are more exotic than Italian threads in clothes. * You can get cycling so right you’re wrong, and you can go wrong enough with it that you get all the way to right again. *
Only overload your jersey pockets for someone else. * Righty tighty lefty loosey is real good advice as long as you know when it’s not. * My favourite riding surface sounds like the past tense of what I do on it. * It’s plenty OK to coast. It means that at some point you worked hard enough and long enough to earn a break. * In a very small but very real way, the world would be better if everyone understood the up/down/up/down pattern for hanging bikes on hooks. *
If the beer-bottle-opener industry had an obsession with making bikes that attach to their products, we’d be able to see how ridiculous that was. * I reckon a better formula is R+1, where R is the number of rides. * I can make any bike go as fast as I can go. The ones that could go faster aren’t gonna do it under me no matter what. *
That ride with my daughter that one and only time when she got it? I’d trade all the rest for it if I could. * If there’s any meaning to it at all, the core is about those most passionate about cycling but also about the most passionate moments of those new to it or even just forever dabbling. * When I’m the slowest I try the hardest; I owe it to the pack. * #CapsNotHats And #GetSomeoneRiding. *
When your knees feel hotter than your legs, you had a damn good week of riding and it’s time to take some time off. * It’s taken me decades to get to the point at which the only way I can get better is to start removing elements, movements, and possessions from my cycling life instead of adding on. * When the ride is so easy I feel silly that I dressed in bike clothes - I know I’ve done a good thing for myself. *
The number of people who will tell you what it all means is way bigger than the number of people who will go through it all with you. * There’s always more than one ride going on in the ride. Even when you’re alone. Probably especially when you’re alone. * I never forget that bikes can be used to sharpen knives. * There’s a little honour and a lot of fun in being the slowest person on our lunch ride. *
“Thanks for the ride” * I once woke up thrashing from a dream that felt full of important truths because I was saying people misspell Eddy but don’t mispronounce Merckx. I still don’t really know what that means, but I can’t forget it. * The right kind of fatigue feels sublime. * You really can outride a storm and you ought to keep trying until you do it at least once. But flirting with its edges is more fun. The most fun is to ride right into it laughing. *
Making someone feel like a badass is just about the best thing I ever accomplish on a ride. * Never met someone who regularly says HTFU who can’t be STFU by a hard-enough pace and plenty of jumps. * I used to be able to do that just about whenever I wanted. * I used to never say about my riding that “I used to. . .” * Wrench away on your bike in whatever clothes you happen to be wearing, and be cool with the stains and rips and tatters. It’s who you are. *
I love and hate pro bicycle racing, which must mean I love it. Again. Dammit. * My bike reviews got much better once I figured out how little I knew about bikes. * “Ride Some” may not be as good as “Ride Lots” but it’s way better than nothing and a little better than most, and that’ll get you through a lot of bad times. * Freeze your bottle half-full in the summer. Shot of whiskey in there in the winter. *
One day I knocked a hole clear through my cheek out messing around with some deadfall, then the next day I had a flat and when I blew into the tube to partially inflate it to keep it from pinching when I seated the tyre, the pressure in my mouth reopened the wound and my breath blew through my cheek and I almost cried but I didn’t tell anyone and instead banked the pain and used it to win the last town sign of the day. The next morning, on the way to work, with an exquisite chill to the air under the bluest sky of the year I saw a family wobbling along on bikes on their way to the daycare, all over the road and happy and shouty and giggling, and I almost cried, and I knew I’d lived everything cycling is about right there in those two days. *
Check the bottle-cage bolts before a big ride. They’ll be a little loose. * A draft given is sweeter than one taken, unless you really really really really want to hang on. * Just rock the helmet hair. * Bump shoulders with your friends, and handlebars with your good friends. *
If you know how to echelon - and I mean all the way to the back after your pull, not just moving through your turns into the wind - you are some kind of rider and no one can take that away from you. * I don’t care what the officials or the aerodynamicists say - crumple your numbers. * Ain’t no secret, ain’t no shortcut, but if you ride enough you’ll become the rider you want to be. You don’t have to want to be any kind of rider at all, either.
You can just love riding. * Or you can just like it. * Hell, you can be indifferent but do it anyway and have all kinds of fun. * It’s not cool to put songs in people’s heads on a ride. * It’s hilarious. * Bikes. Bikes bikes bikes bikes bikes. No matter what the question is, the bicycle really is part of the answer. * I’ll ride with you.