“I am into my fifth decade riding because I was eight or nine when I started. No, I was six, actually, so I have been on the bike for over 50 years. I have been on the mountain bike for 20 years, now. When I started cycling, mountain bikes did not exist. It has only been around for about 20 years and I am 60. It was 1995 when I started on mountain bikes. I only washed the bike once through the entire winter and I was out three times a week. But summer is here so I will have to wash it again. One time for the summer.”
Notes: it is hard to see in a small Instagram frame, but this bike is caked in mud. I really thought he had done a morning dash through a forest. But it was soon clear that his bike maintenance regimen was equal to my own. We had a bit to talk about. Certainly we hit similar chords in the chat. We both have decades on the bike, have seen our elite road bikes become vintage machines for young riders, the evolution of the sport and the creation of mountain bikes from back road hacker machines. And our rides and tastes have changed, as well. Bikes have been the constant from childhood. The memories of the first ride, the first real bike owned.
It is an odd reality, and one that I have not accepted, that I am one of the older riders on the streets. But I have allowed myself to become kinder on the bike. I can ride with slower people and not have the constant need to rush ahead. I can accept that not everyone needs speed, even if my fantasy might be slightly distorted.
Other realities might be slower to take root.