From Dave Moultons blog..
When a person starts to ride a bike for no other reason than the pure joy of riding a bicycle; the temptation is to want to spread that joy and convert others to become cyclists and discover the joys of cycling.
When they resist efforts at conversion, it must be the same feeling that Jehovah’s Witnesses maybe get when they knock on my door but fail to convert me to their way of thinking. There is a danger of being a “Cyclist” becoming almost a religion. I don’t recall who said this first but the quote went:
“I would rather be riding my bike on Sunday and thinking of God, than sitting in church thinking about riding my bike.”
When a person reaches a certain level of fitness then riding a bike can become almost a spiritual experience. You are communing with nature for a start; the elements, sunshine, rain, become part of the experience.
You cannot help but be aware of the wind, whether it is a head wind or at your back. You cannot help but be aware of the terrain, uphill or down, and the road or trail’s surface.
Then there is the feeling of power that comes from propelling oneself forward at speed; I always think it is almost akin to flying. And with this power to fly it is hard not to have a feeling of superiority, after all not everyone can fly, or at least make a bicycle go fast as you or I can.
So as I go into a new year I remind myself that it is okay to feel superior, after all that is nothing more than a feeling of self esteem, which is good. What I will try to do is to not look down on lesser mortals who are not cyclists.
Those unfortunate souls who have not yet discovered the joy of being a cyclist; those trapped inside their unfit bodies and their SUVs.
However, I will not preach to non-cyclists or try to convert them; I will not display an elitist persona of superiority. I will not show disdain at those who choose to travel by car or on foot. To do so would be to become a fundamentalist cyclist, and there is already too much fundamentalism in the world today.
I will try to show my fellow traveler, be they on the road or on this journey that is this life; respect and common courtesy. Even though it is entirely possible they will not show me the same.
I will occasionally allow myself to “Poke fun” at the non-cyclist, in a good natured way, on this blog, knowing that the non-cyclist will not read it anymore than I will read the Jehovah’s Witness literature that was tucked behind my screen door.
I will try to lead by example that people might say, “Here’s a happy, healthy, content individual; what’s your secret?” Then maybe I might tell them.
Every time I go for a ride, its an adventure, regardless of whether its to work or for a fun ride.. every day is a challenge, sometimes its “hard” and some times its mellow. There is the joy of flying down a hill, or getting to the top of a climb that you could not previously climb, or taking a few minutes off your commute, or raising your average speed a few km/h over a few months, or the joy of cycling with a mate(s) and enjoying with him/her/them the previous..
I thank God for my bike, and the ability to ride, I’ve never been able to enjoy this kind of challenge before.