More than Riding

As you get familiar with the bike community you will find quickly that one thing cyclists like more than cycling, is talking about all their gear, gadgets, and technical specs of their bikes and gear. If you were to ask a crowd of cyclists to tell you about their favorite or most essential bike items you would get a lot of eager responses…

More than Riding...

However, after spending even more time in the bike community, you will find that what cyclists like more than cycling or talking about their gear, is giving advice about your gear.

And that’s where I get into trouble. Because I am not interested in gadgets or memorizing technical specs.

More than Riding...

Mostly I just bike to work. But so far I haven’t lost my balance because of my lack of knowledge. I do just fine.


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  • anniebikes January 11, 2012   Reply →

    Oh, what a crack up. And so appropriate. Some of us just want to ride while others live and breathe all the geeky tech stuff. It takes both kinds to make a world of bikes. I guess I fall somewhere in between. Thanks for the humor.

  • TheQueerBird January 11, 2012   Reply →

    YES! I also ride a bike with two wheels. It gets me where I need to go, and I consider myself a pretty savvy cyclist… until I walk into a bikeshop. Sigh. I’m finally acknowledging that I’m just not that interested in learning about all the gear, etc, and that needs to be okay.

  • len January 11, 2012   Reply →

    I totally agree. And worse, you are labeled as a cyclist not by your love in cycling but by the price of the accessories. Best regards, Len.

  • Tony January 11, 2012   Reply →

    I know exactly what you mean! But I did add fenders to the bike. SO much nicer in the rain!

  • Matt the Scruffy Mechanic January 11, 2012   Reply →


    At some point, if you hang around bikes long enough, try enough things and settle on what you like you end up with folks telling you that “you need x,y and z to enjoy your ride properly,” to which you end up responding that “I have all that stuff, in a box in my garage, I took it all off my bike when I decided I didn’t need it any more.”
    Also, being told that you can’t ride in flip flops, usually by people that you’ve passed while you’re riding in flip flops.

    All you NEED is a bike, and possibly entertaining bicycle cartoons.

  • Karyn January 11, 2012   Reply →

    I tell people that I just ride a bike, I’m not a bike rider.

  • John Romeo Alpha January 11, 2012   Reply →

    Yes, my gearhead tendencies sometimes tend to overwhelm the core or heart of cycling, guilty. I try to resist. But, hey, is that humpback whale thing real? Can you post a link?

  • Justin Winokur January 11, 2012   Reply →

    I am rather guilty of this. I am a bike nerd. I love reading about the gear and all that. I am an engineering graduate student so I also get really into the technical side of a lot of bike components. Of course, being a grad student means I can’t afford too much of the fancy stuff.

    That is what works for me though. I always say, the absolute best bike, saddle, helmet, etc for any given rider is the one that will get the on the bike the most. The rest really doesn’t matter from there.

  • Marianna January 11, 2012   Reply →

    Hey no fair making fun of baguette holders! The obscure gear I’ve been dreaming of lately is a big, flat rack that I can carry cakes and pizzas on!

    • bikeyface January 11, 2012  

      I’m making fun of myself too. I’ve been seen with a baguette sticking out of a pannier- once even on a long road ride (I mean what if I got hungry? What am I going to put the cheese on?) And there definitely needs to be a way to transport cake. Had that come up recently.

    • cris January 13, 2012  

      Last time I was in San Francisco, I bought myself this recipe booklet for bike basket pies. Basically, they are tall galettes that you bake in muffin tins and they work awesome for porting on a front or rear rack, or in a front basket, as intended.

      Also, I’ve totally bungee’d a Dutch Oven and a few cheesecakes to my front rack while on my way to various parties. It’s usually fine, but I never seem to enjoy the ride because I’m always worried about a mishap with the food.

  • Eoin January 11, 2012   Reply →

    Ouch. This one hits a little too close to home.

  • cycler January 11, 2012   Reply →

    What do the poor car drivers talk about? Without all the gear and add-ons and gadgets?
    Maybe they just talk about their iphone apps.

  • Dave January 11, 2012   Reply →

    Hah! I have the same thing happen. I mean, I do know the brand of my tires, because I bought them and put them on, but that’s about as in-depth as I go. Pretty much, my bike either goes or it doesn’t, is rattly or quiet, and has stuff I can put stuff in/on, and a kickstand and lights.

    I’ve never felt any desire to know how fast I’m going or to time my trips anywhere in any kind of exact way, I don’t find that I need GPS to get around, and I’ve never weighed my bike, I just know it weighs more than almost every other bike I come across on a regular basis :)

    I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being into gadgets or the technical side of bicycle engineering, I’m just not interested in it as more than a passing curiosity, personally :)

    I think we find ourselves kind of in that in-between phase now, where previously it was *only* the people who were really into bikes riding them, and now sort of average, everyday Joes and Janes are beginning to ride – people who don’t care if their wheels are true or their brakes are squeaky, as long as the bike keeps moving and nothing is falling apart. It’s a good thing, I think – we need both sides.

    • Pdxtyler January 17, 2012  

      Dave- How did I know you’d be here…? :)
      I like gear but I don’t care if I have THE gear, just the gear I like.

    • Dave January 17, 2012  

      Yeah, I know you and your Electra cycling cap, riding around in Poland like you’re the shit :)

  • MT Cyclist January 11, 2012   Reply →

    Can you tell me where I can get one of those sandwich holders?

  • John January 11, 2012   Reply →

    Yes, Marianna! Cake and pizza rack – me want too!

  • GRJim January 11, 2012   Reply →

    Hm. Since you’ve effectively skewered gadgeteers, let me offer you some advice on how to draw stems…

    “Oh, you have a lugged unicrown fork!?” – Someone known to us.

  • scott January 11, 2012   Reply →

    You’re posts and art always leave me with a grin — and i never smile! Thank you :)

  • Lovely Bicycle! January 11, 2012   Reply →

    I’m thinking I need a Garmin with a camera ap to photograph people’s lugged unicorn forks…

    • Dave January 11, 2012  

      Does the unicorn horn come out of the front of the fork crown? :)

    • cycler January 11, 2012  

      tee hee hee! a fortuitous typo

    • Lovely Bicycle! January 12, 2012  

      Ha!! That was my iPhone spell checker : ))

    • GRJim January 12, 2012  

      I find the Garmin is superior to the iPhone in every facet. Its personal assistant, Surly, navigates spell check with aplomb and comes pre-installed with the Mythical Beast Finder app. It’s been a life saver.

  • Steve January 11, 2012   Reply →

    I have a GoPro and a Garmin – does that make me a gear freak?

    • bikeyface January 11, 2012  

      I have to admit I have a GoPro too! Which is why I make fun of it. But I did stop recording *every* commute.

  • Brian January 12, 2012   Reply →

    Great! My weakness is lights. I’ve bought cheap ones, expensive ones & just ordered one that fits on the helmet! You’re going to be able to see me from Space! :)

    • Justin Winokur January 12, 2012  

      I am right there with you! Safety first, Gadgets second!

  • Jon Webb January 12, 2012   Reply →

    If you spend a lot of time on your bike you’ll find yourself thinking about ways to optimize the experience. It’s like, if my bike was a little bit lighter I could get up this hill easier. Gee, my seat is getting uncomfortable, I wonder if ergonomic seats are worth it. And the cost is not so much that you can’t experiment with new things. It’s very much like the way Californians, who spend a lot of time in cars, personalize them with personalized plates, etc. It’s simply a natural result of riding a lot and thinking about your ride while you ride.

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