Moreover, sections of my favorite unpaved trail are now dry and firm enough to ride, and it's precisely on such terrain that the Cambium excels, because the rubbery shell helps noticeably in soaking up the bumpies.
In fact, between that rubbery saddle and the touring bike tires, it's almost like I got me a gravel bike. Clearly what Brooks should do is market a gravel-specific version of the Cambium C-17 and call it the Cambium C-17g. The C-17g would be identical to the regular C-17 in every way, except that it would cost 50% more, and I guarantee it would quickly become their biggest seller.
Anyway, what with the quiet bike, the respite from the pavement, and the inevitability of spring, I was feeling pretty good about things, but then I went to download the above photo and randomly came across an image from my last vacation:
Now I'm depressed because it reminded me that, comparatively speaking, where I live totally sucks.
Speaking of depressing, you may be depressed to learn that the only thing cycling does for your bones is break them:
It’s long been known that bike riders are more susceptible to having weaker bones than people who do higher-impact sports like running or basketball. In one study, University of Oklahoma researchers performed bone scans on 32 male road cyclists between the ages of 18 and 45 who trained and raced competitively. They found that almost all the riders had lower bone density compared with a control group; some even had osteopenia, a precursor to osteoporosis, a disease in which bones become brittle and prone to breaking.
I actually never gave the issue of cycling and bone strength much thought until I read Grant Petersen's "Just Ride," which I highly recommend:
Previously, I'd been deluding myself into thinking I was a healthy and fit individual by mere virtue of the fact that I rode a bike. However, as I approached middle age, I began to realize that years of bike racing to the exclusion of pretty much any other form of intense physical activity had basically turned me into a mutant capable of riding a bike for long distances but useless for pretty much everything else, and that being able to ride a hundred miles without breaking a sweat yet unable to run for half a block to catch a bus without developing shin splints or breaking a tibia is far from "being in shape."
Actually, it's perversely satisfying when you think about it, since so much of cycling is built on this whole idea of "suffering" and grizzled Flemish people jackhammering the cobbles and all of that, but in reality it's kind of a "woosie" sport that's less about suffering and more about whining. Consider the imagery of sensual, on-the-bike suffering, cultivated so adeptly by Rapha over the years that it's become a cliché:
Now consider that basically everyone in these grainy black-and-white photos is doing a low-impact sport that will leave them with the bone density of a sparrow by the time they're 50.
Oh, and we take coffee breaks. At cafés. Where we drink cutesy little designer coffee drinks.
As cyclists, we all think we're doing something special, but the truth is it's just not that hard. I know this because I've been trying to run on occasion, and that is hard. It's pretty humbling when you realize all those doofuses you pass in the park who are running while wearing headphones and belts with tiny water bottles on them are doing something that's harder than the Rapha Gentlemen's Race--and they're doing it in the morning before work. We also love to laugh at triathletes because they can't stay on their bikes, but if you think about it from a Darwinian standpoint they're far better adapted to survival on the planet Earth than actual cyclists. Sure, they do a lot of this, but at least they can run and swim. On the other hand, we can ride for days on end, but we're utterly useless for anything else. So when it comes down to it, which is going to help you more when we're invaded by a foreign power? Triathletes will be running and swimming to safety and launching amphibious assaults, while we're all dicking around trying to figure out which tires to "run," and arguing about whether we should use the fat bike or the gravel bike.
Anyway, nobody should be surprised that a sport involving wearing "gilets" turns you weak and frail:
(He's wearing a "gilet." That's a French word for a garment that's like a waistcoat or a blouse.)
Probably the only demographic as susceptible to gentle breezes and tiny chills than the roadie is the Southern Belle.
I wonder how long it will be until Rapha "drops" a parasol:
(Cutouts for weight savings.)
I mean, come on--we're so frail that we can't even make it into the Home Depot without getting carried away by a zephyr:
fourish in the afternoon - one moment i was all set, about to head into home depot. next minute i was bouncing off the ground and into a parked car. have no idea why - maybe as you said a gust, or maybe something mechanical? who knows, but it must have been interesting to watch! nothing busted, just winded and dazed and thankful for helmet sense. but you were right there in a flash to get me back upright with help & concern. for that, i thank you. for reminding me that humanity tends to be uplifting more often than not, thank you also.
He must have caught the vapors.