Five things to think about, to do, to get, to check, to see, places to go, or otherwise. Some of it should be fun or though provoking. Some of it might be sobering or sad. We'll see.
Come along and let's take this somewhere. Have an idea for a Friday Five topic? Leave a comment!
Today: Five Things You Must Do Before You Call Yourself a Cyclist:
- Shave your legs at least once. A bigger deal for guys obviously, but still a rite of passage. It will also not be left unsaid that this step also requires wearing shorts to a public, non-cycling event.
- Race. Again, at least once. Our sport is naturally competitive and I don't think you can truly pass the threshold to "cyclist" unless you've sauntered up to a start line and jockeyed for position. (Bonus points for getting up insanely early for the first wave of a race.) You only have to start though - this is the one place where you'll get credit for a "DNF".
- Finish a ride in the rain or snow or other undesirable weather conditions. The perfect riding conditions make a ride all the better, but there is a certain "epic" level a ride reaches when the weather turns unexpectedly and you are left to battle conditions for which you were not prepared. These rides make you stronger and usually become your best stories too!
- Change a flat tire on the side of the road/trail. Sorry, until you give up on using your mobile phone as your "emergency kit" you'll never become a cyclist. Much like shaving your legs, this is a must-do on the road to achievement (aside from being one of the best skills you can have).
- Bonk. Yup - if you've never pushed yourself beyond your level of preparation and come to that point where you have no more gas left in your tank, you are not a cyclist. Gutting-out the last miles of a ride with no water, no food, cramps, and no more will to continue is also part of the journey. Again, calling for a car ride does not count. You must finish the intended route. You also don't get points for "planning" this one...it just has to happen. How will you know if you've achieved it? You'll know, trust me. :)
What else is on your "must-do" list? Any good stories from your experience with the five steps above? Let's hear it in the comments!