The joy of riding never wears off

The joy of riding never wears off

Anatomy of a Photo: The Joy of the Ride

by / / 27 posts

Being the youngest in my family meant I spent a few long years staring at my older siblings’ bikes, wishing for the opportunity to grow up too fast and get to the prescribed age of being allowed to ride a bike. When the time finally came, my brother took me to the trail behind the house and I learned to ride a heavy yellow 10-speed procured from the bicycle department at none other than the esteemed local Sears.

Even on that first wobbly ride down that bumpy dirt trail, the joy of riding along above the ground and feeling as close as a person could come to understanding what birds feel like when they take flight was immediately addictive. Even today, when I climb on my bike, I still feel that same thrill of my first ride, albeit with presumably less Rule Violations than this little tyke.

// Breaking The Rules // Defining Moments

  1. I still feel it almost every time, the only exception is when running late for something important because of traffic, weather, or a mechanical, and even then it’s fun. Few things even come close to offering a thrill every time. So many adults don’t ride a bike, ever. Occasionally, when one of these weirdos visits, I convince them to take a turn on a bike. I’m yet to find one who doesn’t find a smile sneak up on them. Some folks even laugh out loud.

  2. When I was 14 years old I began working at a golf course during the summers. I woke up at the ass crack of dawn, ate a bowl of cereal, put on a pair of shorts and a golf polo, hopped on my bmx bike, and rode 10 miles to the golf course to either caddie or work in the golf bag room. Each day I would try to ride those initial 10 miles as fast as I could, timing myself from door to door. Dodging traffic, bunny hopping curbs and potholes, sprinting up the hills, it was more than just a way to get to work. It was a game and a challenge. Following a day of caddying (usually two rounds) I would be quite knackered. But, as soon as I grabbed the bike for the return home, I would ride a wheelie through the parking lot as a warm up and then full gas it for dinner time. Wonderful memories.

  3. This is me on my first Proper Bike (i.e. not a faux-BMX with stabilisers), aged…6? 7 maybe? Mid-1990s for sure (just look at them shorts! I’m sad to say I didn’t catch the bug back then, but 15-odd years later I bought my first road bike after watching the Tour for the first time, and here we are!

  4. Did 93km today. 1446m climbing. Prepping for a sportive. I loved every minute. Even the ones spent inhaling wasps. Especially those ones, actually.

    Great article, Frank.

  5. When my marathoning career came to an end due to sciatica, I needed a way to keep in shape. A bike would keep my legs in shape until I could pound the pavement again, I reasoned. A funny thing happened, though-I never went back to running. The freedom, speed, and cool gear that came with cycling was just too much fun! Not to mention the fact that there was considerably less wear and tear on my body.

    That was years ago and the joy of the ride is as high as it was back then. If anything I appreciate the time spent on my trusty steed more than on those first rides.

    Postscript: I break fewer rules than I did back then……..

  6. What rule violations? C’mon! This little dude is a star. Yeah his glasses are inside his helmet straps, but he’s got gloves, a jersey, proper shorts, drop bars… and no computer, ALL V-METER!!!

    You go, little guy. Don’t let @frank get you down. He’s just jealous because you look like Axel Merckx development team material!

  7. @litvi

    What rule violations? C’mon! This little dude is a star. Yeah his glasses are inside his helmet straps, but he’s got gloves, a jersey, proper shorts, drop bars… and no computer, ALL V-METER!!!

    You go, little guy. Don’t let @frank get you down. He’s just jealous because you look like Axel Merckx development team material!

    He also appears to be completely kicking ass.

  8. @litvi

    What rule violations? C’mon! This little dude is a star. Yeah his glasses are inside his helmet straps, but he’s got gloves, a jersey, proper shorts, drop bars… and no computer, ALL V-METER!!!

    You go, little guy. Don’t let @frank get you down. He’s just jealous because you look like Axel Merckx development team material!

    When your race number is nearly as big as you are you get some waivers.

  9. Awesome photo. Unfortunately, that kid’s probably in for a rough few years though. Hopefully when he’s getting smooched by podium girls in his mid-teens it’ll all be worth it.

    Any ideas what his name is? I’d like to start putting him in my VSP starts. Playing the long game.

  10. Reminds me of my first bike, must have been 5 or so. No brakes, fixed gear, no freewheel but it had a “remzadel” (braking saddle). Living in the Flatlands meant that brakes are not necessary, except in the Amstel Gold region where I grew up, where there is an abundance of hills. When going down the hill where we lived, I let the pedals go and leaned back, because that is how I thought braking on this saddle worked. After my teeth had perforated my lips and my knees were covered in blood, I came to realise that it wasn’t a “remzadel” but a “renzadel” (racing saddle).

  11. When I was 5, my dad taught me to ride a bike by pushing me down a hill. Evidently I missed the part of his Bike Riding Orientation entitled “Braking and Steering” and rode into a basketball hoop pole at the bottom of the hill. I cried, in part due to my first case of road rash, but mostly because the bike was broken and I couldn’t do it again. In retrospect, my descending skills have not evolved much since that day.

  12. @Teocalli

    @litvi

    What rule violations? C’mon! This little dude is a star. Yeah his glasses are inside his helmet straps, but he’s got gloves, a jersey, proper shorts, drop bars… and no computer, ALL V-METER!!!

    You go, little guy. Don’t let @frank get you down. He’s just jealous because you look like Axel Merckx development team material!

    When your race number is nearly as big as you are you get some waivers.

    Some folks, when a bib # is pinned on, it means to them, no f***ing around time. And clearly, this young man has that mojo going on. I wouldn’t want to have been trying to catch his wheel right then! #morekidsonbikes

  13. While categorized under ‘rule violations’, this seems like a perfect example of Rule #70. Dude is in it to win it.

  14. @Rick

    Oh yes. I totally love riding now more than ever b/c I find that if forced to run, I just ache in nearly all of my joints after a decent run but even after a long, challenging day in the saddle, all I have is muscle fatigue, not joint soreness.

    So wonderful.

    And commuting into work at O-Dark Thirty (with my new trusty lights bought with Frahnk’s advice–they kick arse!) is just amazing as I am usually still half asleep but end up waking up and feeling so alive prior to stepping into the clinic.

  15. And is there not some Rule, hidden in the Rules somewhere around here that says that “Whomever is having the most fun on the bike, wins?” Is that not the most fundamental principle to the whole V-ness of the Universe?

    That should be Rule #0.5 as it supercedes all others, no?

  16. I start each day by walking my dogs in the woods. What a great reason to get out of bed! Seeing those two gals sniff around, chase each other, have the time of their lives every darn morning.

    I start and end each work day with a bicycle ride. It’s awesome. I like my job, but to bookend the work day in such a way is great. Cycling definitely keeps one young at heart, which is why it’s (almost) laughable when some motorist slows down just to cuss you out and tell you to stay off “their” roads. Ha, we’re out having fun, they’re taking time from their day to yell at a stranger.

  17. Small joy found in his ride….

    pic found here

  18. @sthilzy

    Small joy found in his ride….

    pic found here

    Ohhhhh, I love this photo.

  19. Cool picture.

  20. @sthilzy

    that’s just one of many beauties found here – http://cyclingtips.com/2016/05/photo-highlights-from-the-2016-giro-ditalia/

  21. @Mikael Liddy

    @sthilzy

    that’s just one of many beauties found here – http://cyclingtips.com/2016/05/photo-highlights-from-the-2016-giro-ditalia/

    Wow! Thanks for the link. Magnificent images.

  22. @Mikael Liddy

    Thanks for the link. Fantastic images.

  23. @Mikael Liddy

    Fan-tas-tic stuff. Cheers!

  24. I know it’s probably sacrilegious but…I kinda dig the Tinkov kit and considering I’ve never uncovered a race fit bright as jersey, I’ve even considered picking one up. So there ya go.

  25. Mary V as a kid. Holy fuck.

  26. @sthilzy

    Small joy found in his ride….

    pic found here

    Where’s his race number?

  27. @RobSandy

    Under his gilet?

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