But I hate you because I don't understand you. And you know what? You make it really hard. All your special words and fancy gear—it's enough to make the lowly runner feel, well, like a lowly runner. I don't have wheels. I don't have a cool, bright matching outfit. My champions don't get to wear different colored jerseys when they take the lead. Can you tell I'm mad as hell?
So like someone totally petty would, I've decided to make the ultimate hater's list of things I just don't get about cycling.
Sitting Down While Working Out1 of 16
First, as someone who has spent 26.2 miles running upright and lived to tell the tale, I just don't really get how an activity that allows you to sit is considered exercise at all. I've heard rumors that your pants are padded because, presumably, your butt aches from all that sitting. Why do a non-contact sport that requires pads? And why do a sport that makes your butt ache?
Tiny Hats2 of 16
What are those hats good for? When I wear a hat, it's because I need to keep the sun out of my eyes. I want shade on my nose and cheeks. But what is the brim of your hat doing? It's very small, and from what I can tell, it only serves to look awkward.
You Getting Mad About Me Saying "Hat"3 of 16
While we're on the subject, I'd like to address the fact that you get very upset when I call those things "hats." You say caps, but they are both head coverings. Tell me, why is the word "hat" so offensive to you?
The Very Small Clothing4 of 16
I am always amazed at how teeny your spandex outfits are. You call these kits, right? For context, you're dealing with a person who feels uncomfortable even thinking about getting into a one-piece swimsuit. I guess I just don't know how you manage to get your body into such tight, constrictive spaces. And also, your kits are very bright and decorative (to be honest, I'm kind of jealous).
Speaking of clothing, why do your shirts have pockets?5 of 16
Why don't you keep your snacks in shorts pockets like everyone else?
You make it SUPER hard to understand anything about cycling. Like, are you speaking a different language?6 of 16
Already, we've discussed two new words: kits and caps. But there is an endless list of cycling terminology. You can't just say you rode 100 miles, you have to say you "did a century." You didn't just fall on your face, you went, "endo." Did I say that right? I'm sorry for being so uncool. I can tell you what the definition of "fartlek" is. Can I still hang out with you?
There is a possibility, every ride, that you may fall.7 of 16
And it could be catastrophic! You could fly over your handle bars and topple onto the pavement. I've seen your bloody knees and the road rash on your arms. Yet you still love it. I have to work to fall over my own two feet. I mean it happens in running, but it's not nearly as bloody.
Your feet are stuck in the pedals.8 of 16
When you clip in, it's like you've trapped yourself. Doesn't that feel claustrophobic? Or do you stick your feet into your pedals and become one with the bike? Are you half human, half machine?
You enjoy a sport that requires a helmet.9 of 16
I know it's necessary, but like, this is dorky.
You think you're a car.10 of 16
Sure, I know, you can go as fast as a moving vehicle, but you are very small in comparison and you are not made of metal. Do you see why this might worry us uptight runners?
You guys are always getting flats.11 of 16
When I am out for a run and my shoe comes untied, I bend over and tie it. Sometimes it's so quick I don't even pause my GPS watch. But sometimes when you're out for a ride, you get a flat tire. You have to carry tools—tools! (That weight is crazy to runners! We don't like to carry an extra gel packet if we don't have to.) Then you have to stop your ride, fix your flat and roll on home. This sounds like a lot of stress.
Your tan lines are ridiculous.12 of 16
Perhaps because your shorts go over your shoulders?
Everything in cycling is so expensive.13 of 16
Two weeks ago, I decided I wanted to be a cool kid and get a bike. Then I saw that the baseline would be $700. For a very basic model. This is a lot. Then I did some more research, and I don't have to tell you this, but it has to be said: Cycling is the most expensive sport in the entire world.
I burn more calories per mile.14 of 16
Ultimately, I decided against getting a bike because I can just spend that money on food. And since I run, I'll be allowed to eat it because I'm burning so many more calories on my own two feet. Probably because I'm not sitting down.
Conclusion15 of 16
So by now, you're probably annoyed by me, but perhaps you can see this is just the quiet pleadings of a broke runner who doesn't know how to fit in with the rad inner-circle of cyclists. The fact that you can stay up on two wheels mile after mile is a skill my gangly runner self will never possess. Remember that I am envious of your poise, grace, balance and skill. Then remember that you're wearing a tiny hat.