Weird is the new normal

I have a nice looking butt.  Well proportioned.  Nicely shaped.  Looks good in spandex.  I’ve been told this recently.  Actually my wife was told this by a fellow rider friend of mine.  I walked into the conversation.  I’m sure they were probably talking about tandem riding or riding in pace lines.  I don’t care.  She said it.  My wife took it in stride.  She knows.  Cyclists are strange folk.  We wear strange things.  We talk about strange things.  We drink and eat strange things.  Cyclists are special.
 Have you ever been at a family or friendly gathering where no one else rides a bike and it’s rarely brought up?  When it is discussed its kind of a “well, we gotta ask eventually” kind of discussion?
“So Eddie how’s the job going?”
“Good, good.  Can’t complain.  One day at a time you know.”
“Cool, cool. You see that new movie out?”
“Yeah.  It’s good”
“Yep…soooo you still doing that bicycle thing?”
“Oh yeah, yeah.  Road a few miles this morning.  I have a century race next weekend.  Should be a blast”
“Well good.  Sounds fun….soooo I read that your junk can go numb on long rides?”
We wear skin tight clothing and know the difference between spandex, wool, polyester and mixed blends.  We order race cause it sounds European and cool but order a size larger so it fits lie a club cut.  We don’t discuss “outfits” in daily life but have no issue coordinating kits.  For some of us, the brighter the better.  Orange, blue, red, yellow, polka-dot, green, fusia…sometimes all on the same jersey.  We have no issue with putting lube down our pants in mid conversation then grabbing a pre ride GU packet and sucking down Maple Bacon gel.  It’s not weird.  It’s a cycling thing.  We wear socks that have a picture of bacon and eggs on them.  Socks with roosters, skeletons, gorillas, biohazard signs and even a pair with zombies and blood.  We wear shoes that click more than tap dancers when we go into a gas station for the almighty mid-ride pizza stop.  We ride bikes more expensive than some used cars.  Kids don’t need a college fund.  Look at us.  We didn’t have a college fund and we turned out “normal”.  We sometimes leave our families, drive hundreds, even a thousand miles to carry our bikes in mud, walk our bikes up hills and suffer through a century of pain…and it’s “epic”.  Cyclists are strange folk.
We aren’t alone in the world though.  When is the last time you saw a cyclist wear bibs with the word “juicy” written across their butt?  (Although not a bad idea considering the lead In to this post).  When’s the last time a cyclist sprayed urine all over himself to better hide theirscent?  Had toenails fall off from pedaling too much?  Gotten cauliflower ears from wearing their helmets for too many years?  Peed in their clothes while driving near 200 mph for 4 straight hours?  Taken their cycling gloves off and retightened them 30 times while approaching the bike?  Jumped into the air and head butted another team mate because he bombed that last low water crossing like a FREAKING BOSS!!!  Ever see a cyclist cross the finish line, run 100 feet, do a belly slide in euphoric joy and have 20 other cyclists jump on top of him?  Sick, No?  No.
Look.  We all have our “other” lives away from our desk jobs.  We all have our outlets.  We all need our outlets.  Some of us read, play sports, take long walks, go shopping, grow gardens, target shoot, research genealogy, etc…the list is limitless.  So, the next time you think about that weird family member or friend in his crazy spandex and crotch lube remember to look around you.  Remember cousin Bobby actually pays money for deer urine to pour over himself.  Not the cheap fake urine either, the GOOD stuff!!  Remember poor sister Kerri can’t paint her toenails for a few months because of that last marathon.  Uncle JeffY still has to adjust his crotch every 5 minutes even though he gave up baseball 10 years ago and finally stopped wearing his cup 5 years ago.  Weird.  I know.
 We’re all weird. We all have odd rituals.  It’s not a cyclist thing.  It’s a human being thing.  People are all weird.  Cyclists just say screw it and embrace it.  We all drink the same coffee in the morning and beer in the evening.  Except, well, cyclists enjoy the best espresso pull and finest IPA or Stout because you know….we’re better than everyone else….
 Let’s all embrace and support each other in our weird ass lives and habits.  Our growing community will be a hell of a lot more fun if we just laugh, shake our heads and say “what are ya gonna do, they’re family”.
 (I hope you realize I wrote this entire blog entry to brag publicly that someone said I have a nice looking butt, right?)

About BobbyT

Backroad cycling enthusiast, husband, father and friend. View all posts by BobbyT

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