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22 March 2011

Cycling is interesting!

There is a pause when my answer is "Cycling"
I don't openly admit that I write a blog. I wait until I know someone pretty well before sheepishly opening up about my personal life by saying, "... I write a blog". Then the pause comes as I wait for the inevitable, "you do, what do you write about?". "Cycling," I answer, as I await the second even longer pause. "Really," they say, "do you write every day?" "Nearly," I reply, "I write whatever I think about, whatever captures my interest on that day". 
Next in an attempt to unwrinkle the look on their face, with great enthusiasm I begin to sell the concept that cycling is incredibly interesting. There is so much to be interested in: the bikes, the riders, the teams, where you ride a bike, the culture, the races, the history, the suffering, the dreams, the drama. From my view of the world, cycling has it all.

The other day I read an interview with Jonathan Vaughters on his 10-point plan to take over the world of cycling, in which he stated that cycling should be on the level of "Premier Football".  He dreams big. Most Americans don't follow Premier Football, and they don't follow cycling, although they do recognize Lance Armstrong, because Sports Illustrated has paraded his image across their pages for years.
I on the other hand am simply trying to tread the uncomfortable waters between the pauses after admitting, "My name is Karen, and I write a cycling blog". The questions that then follow this admission are usually, "Do you get many comments?" "No," I tenderly explain, "I mostly offer information and an appreciation for the sport. How can someone make a comment, "you really should try to enjoy riding a bike a little less," or "that is just one too many pictures of Fabian Cancellara"".
I do however realize the Life Lessons in writing a blog, including: Time is fleeting, so respond now. Creativity flows when it flows, but it is guaranteed to flow. You can learn how to do anything with the right resources and determination. Being around other people who have the same interests makes us feel like we belong (no matter what the interest). Don't talk down to people. Give credit (to others) when credit is due. And lastly blogging allows me to easily correct my mistakes! Where else in life can I do that?
In writing this blog I am proud to say I have a niche of a niche market in a niche sport that may interest a select group of Americans, but I think it is cool that I have a worldwide audience. Cycling makes me go global (82% of the world's top cyclists are from Europe). Sure there may only be 200 riders in any given race, but there could be upwards of millions of fans watching that race, and over 1 billion people worldwide that ride a bike. Most of whom likely share the same feeling I do when at a race or on a bike - Joie de vivre. 
I am a cyclist, and I write a cycling blog.

This is what we do for fun
At the TDF in the Pyrenees in 2005
My brother being a fan on Palomar Mountain ATOC 2009
If you have any doubt about how fantastic cycling is, watch the last kilometers of the recent Milan-San Remo race (which was incredible racing at its best):  Last 10 Km (17:36 Italian) — gazzetta.it