Anyone who’s ever gathered at a start line knows that there’s an awful lot of sly bike inspections going on. But gauging the quality of the cyclist based on what he’s riding isn’t limited to start lines. You can do it practically anytime — looking at bikes on car racks and looking at bikes people are riding as you pass / are passed are two common times. Today, let’s take a look at how you can quickly size up the competition, just by looking at what they ride.
- Reflectors: This is the absolutely most obvious way you can be sure someone’s not serious about cycling. If he’s left the reflectors on his bike, he’s clearly not considering the extraordinarily deleterious (wow, I just used "deleterious" in a sentence!) effects on his speed the weight and poor aerodynamics of the reflectors will have. (
- Drivetrain: The drivetrain is a good indicator of the person’s riding style:
- Shimano = all about the efficiency and reliability. 80% chance that the rider also drives a Japanese car. High likelihood that the rider will be a good tactician and a a smart rider.
- Campagnolo means the rider cares all about the history of cycling and the passion of cycling and will fly into a fit if you do not profess an undying love for Eddy Merckx. This person corners with passion. He climbs with passion. He descends with passion. He attacks with passion. And when you beat him, he will throw a raging fit.
- SRAM: This person isn’t interestedd in beating you. He’s interested in doing his own thing, man. If you suggest working together, he’ll look at you like you’re from Mars.
- Singlespeed means that he no longer cares about winning, or at least wishes to project the image that he no longer cares. He’s jaded, like James Dean on a bike. OR it’s possible that he is bringing enough game to the ride that he’s confident he can beat you even without the benefit of technology.
Today’s Weight: 176.8. Oh, this is not good. This is not good at all. I’m still going to try to hit my goal for the week, but doing this over the weekend that has both my birthday (Saturday) and Father’s Day (Sunday). Which means somebody’s probably going to win that Fat Cyclist Sweepstakes on Monday.
Bonus yuck: Riding to work today, I very nearly rode over a fresh frog roadkill. Thing is, it wasn’t splatted/flattened. Looked like it was just asleep on the road. Big as my fist and bright green. You don’t see stuff like that in Utah.