Monday, April 23, 2007

Spare time?

Being diagnosed with some obscure virus that mysteriously has all the symptoms of Ross River Fever (but isn’t), has really got me thinking about what all those people out there do with their spare time if they are not a cyclist. I’m sick so I haven’t ridden a bike since Saturday morning a week ago. After the 106 km ride up Harveys Range and back in the rain, I felt a little under the weather and have felt the same way for the last week. So instead of riding I have spent some quality time beside my bikes: cleaning, replacing parts, adjusting and shopping (I swear I needed that new Giro Atmos helmet, safety first!!). I even spent one afternoon packing for a 24hr race that was to take place in Brisbane but I eventually had to cancel due to my ‘virus’.

So if someone isn’t riding their bike (or replacing the sub-standard but perfectly functioning FSA headset on their Karate Monkey with a beautiful brand new blue Chris King version) then what are they doing with their lives?

The weekend saw me pondering this and as much as I hate shopping with the hordes, Pia and myself needed to venture into the city to visit the travel agent and pay for our trip to Vietnam in June. I needed some CDs and Pia wanted to do some clothes shopping. We visited two of the city’s largest shopping centres and here’s my observations:

1. Fat people congregate in home entertainment retailers checking if there are any DVD titles that they don’t already own.

2. Young men feel individual by driving the same overpriced car and wearing the same overpriced brand names as every other young man (and think bikes are for people who aren’t cool or individual enough to do the same).

3. Young women think makeup and tight clothes (not lycra knicks) are the meaning of life.

4. Having a family may relegate you to an infinite tradition of wasteful materialism (shopping for junk food, junk movies, junk toys and ways to shut your screaming kids up without actually paying them any attention).

5. Most people are getting out of bed just after you have returned from your morning epic ride through the picturesque mountains surrounding their town.

SO, judging by the rash generalisations above, I would say most people who aren’t cyclists are busy wasting their lives away avoiding effort, worrying about how others see them and living lives steeped in miserable tradition; waiting to die fat, old and bored. That tyre pressure looks a bit low, where’s that pump?