‘If you boat a lot, you’re known as a ‘boating enthusiast’. I like to boat, but I just don’t want to ever be referred to as a ‘boating enthusiast’. I hope they call me ‘a guy who likes to boat.’ ~Mitch Hedberg
I LOVE…Cycling! I feel the same as Mitch, but in reference to cycling…not boating. I don’t, in any way, consider myself a cyclist…but I do like to ‘cycle’, if that’s the correct term. If I WERE a cyclist I would probably have some really cool cycling clothes, cool cycling gear…oh, yeah….I would probably have a bike as well.
I had bikes when I lived in Australia and Timor, but since I’ve been back in the States…no bike. In those places riding a bike seemed natural. It was also fun and a great way to get around. Here, though San Antonio claims to be ‘bike friendly’ and in many ways I suppose it is, I’m just not seeing a bike as a practical means of getting around. I’ve friends who tell me there are some great mountain bike trails nearby, and I completely believe them, I just haven’t made the investment necessary to enjoy them.
The 3 things I enjoy most about cycling are:
1 – It greatly reduces the travel time of getting from point A to point B as opposed to walking.
2 – The way my thighs look when I’m cycling a lot. (Any activity which causes me to look at certain parts of my body and think… ‘Wow, that looks kinda hot! Are those MINE?!’ …is a good activity!)
3 – You get to name your bike!
Naming a bike is much more fun than naming a boat, though I’ve seen some very clever boat names. The bike I had in Australia was named ‘Silver’….but she was actually red. Silver was fearless and a trusted companion! She and I had many really cool adventures together. I bought her from a German woman for 75$AU….which was a steal! Silver’s accessories alone were worth much more than that. The woman was leaving Australia and wanted to make sure Silver went to a good home. Her boyfriend was definitely a CYCLIST, when I went to pick up Silver he spent over an hour with me going over her proper maintenance. At that point I knew I was getting a good bike. I, in turn, when I left Australia also sold Silver for 75$ and made sure she went to someone who would appreciate and take care of her.
In Timor I was fortunate enough to have the use of one of my friend Q’s bikes. This bike was named ‘Fury!’. (The exclamation mark is mine.) Fury! is probably the best bike I’ve ever ridden. I shit you not….Fury! was awesome. One of the coolest things about riding in Timor, I mean other than not getting hit and arriving home alive, was getting the bike serviced. In Timor the trails and roads are rough, and we rode often and hard ….so riding down to Loja Ma Li-Lait bike shop for servicing (or getting more tire patches!) was something I did about twice a week, and it was always an experience!
Another really cool thing about cycling in Timor is the Tour de Timor. Tour de Timor is a 5 day, 450 km, international Mountain Bike race which attracts over 300 cyclists from around the world. The race covers 9 of the country’s 13 districts and is one of the biggest events in Timor. Before you can ask….no, I did not participate! Are you on crack? I’m not fond of the expression…’life is too short’, because it’s usually followed by something very cliché. However, in my opinion….life IS too short to ride a bike uphill. I mean, for fuck’s sakes! Surely there is a better way to get up that hill. I’ve a couple of friends who are participants though, and who are part of Team Timor. These guys truly ARE cyclists, as opposed to my pseudo-cycling. I was lucky enough to ride with them every now and then when I’d run into them here and there around Dili.