“Is it raining? You better ride with your fenders”
“Oh, are you wearing those socks under your leg warmers?”
“Always shave your legs”
If I had a nickel for every “rule” someone has quoted to me during a bike ride… Well, I probably wouldn’t have enough money to buy an espresso. But it does happen a lot. It seems that some bike riders really love to tell others what to do. Hell, some have even written a book devoted to these guidelines.
We all start somewhere. Something inspires us to get in the saddle and start turning those pedals. Some have been doing it since before they were teenagers. Others - like myself - did not ride a bike since elementary school only to re-discover it in their late 20s. And the more we ride our bikes, the more challenges we set for ourselves to overcome. Maybe your challenge is to commute the 11 miles to work every single day of the week. Or doing well in a local criterium. Or maybe a crazy bike-packing race in some far-flung country, the name of which you cannot even spell. It does not matter what it is, but it sure feels great when you put in the work and do your best to achieve those goals.
So it’s really quite simple. Just ride your bike.
Because nobody wants to hear a bunch of grown-ass adults telling each other how it should or shouldn’t be done.
So, maybe this week I will shave my legs because the only light my legs will see will be generated by a lightbulb in the basement, because it may be a little too wet and cold to ride outside for my liking. And maybe I will tuck my socks under leg warmers during the next ride, because hey, I don’t wear my socks on top of my jeans. And maybe you can come and ride with me the next time it’s raining and you are welcome to have your fenders. You can even ride on the front.
Andy Bokanev, ALLIED Ambassador, @bokanev