My 8th Year Of The Cycling Life

22 April, 2016

This year marks the 8th year of what I adopted as the cyclists lifestyle. Cities such as San Francisco, Oakland, and Brooklyn have all been a very important part of this lifestyle transition where commuting by bike has gotten me from a to b in a city. However, cycling has become so much more than a commuter lifestyle. Personally, it's the adventure I seek everyday after my day job, my community, the country roads, the scenery, the wild nature of it all.  In a way, the cycling lifestyle has become a culture of my own, a lingo, a lifestyle, and a camaraderie that I cannot find outside of cycling.

I'm not very competitive, especially when it comes to cycling. As a child and teenager I competed in sports like track and softball. I was fast on the track but my days of competitive sports are behind me now. If you want to be a competitive cyclist, you need time and money. Time to train. Money for equipment, which is pricey when it matters what type of bike you ride. So complex is the world of racing as a sport that even my understanding of it is still complicated. Road biking is something that I've recently taken on since moving outside of the city and although I still crave for the simplicity of commuting in a city for convenience, I try not to treat it as a sport but as a way of life. From commuting and recreation, for the environment, health, or happiness, cycling has a way of being a central role in our lives.

It may be obvious, or not, that most cyclists share similar lifestyles. It's all about the bike, the rides, the climbs, the pain, and the company that pushes you to ride harder. For the occasional bike rider, they may not understand the pride behind two-toned razor sharp tan lines, why we would rather take the scenic back roads, have enormous appetites, and an obsession with France, espresso, and light gear. These are a few characteristics that cyclists share, however, there are the important things like love of adventure and nature, self-reliance, and seeking the simple pleasures of life. The cyclist's lifestyle is about simple living, period.

Regardless of what cycling cultural rules are, the cyclists lifestyle is about the dedication to the bicycle, the manifesto it holds as a machine for freedom. As we seek to live mindful lifestyles that leave a positive impact on the people and world around us, cycling becomes that machine of passion that is much more than a transportation alternative. The cycling lifestyle is a way to fully experience the places we love and all of its details, where we find true fulfillment in new and real experiences out on the road.
Kristina Parkison said...

I have been cycling for many years and have only recently decided to commute to work by bike (only part way since 6 miles of it is extremely dangerous for cyclists!) My question to you is clothing related. I wear a uniform at work, so wearing some of these new, really cute cycling-friendly-but-also-work-for-the-office styles won't work for me. I like wearing cycling-specific clothing, especially something with a chamois, which brings me to my question: I don't want to wear my cycling shorts under my work pants all day, so I change into regular clothes, but at the end of the day, I put the cycling shorts back on, and this will be maybe TMI for some folks, but I feel like I'm putting used underwear back on and it kind of grosses me out. I am wondering if I'm the only one that feels this way, or is there a simple solution? I've thought about rinsing the shorts out when I get to work, but I'm not sure they'd be dry by the end of the day. Any tips or tricks you might have would sure be appreciated!

christina torres said...

Hi Kristina,

That's a great question! I used to have the same problem. I used to cycle 8 miles to school and work in my former days. I did the same, changed when I got to my destination. One thing that was simple for me is bringing an extra pair of underwear and panty liners (I'm a heavy sweater). I would leave my shorts out to dry (when at work) and wash when I got home. I found the panty liners useful for me. As ladies we got to be careful with our lady parts when sweat and bacteria collect on our chamois to avoid an infection. I'll put the question out to the twitternets and see what other ladies say too. Hope this helps a little.

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