If there’s one thing I am 100% sure of in my life, it’s that I’ve experienced 2 puberties in my modest existence. Learning to ride the crimson wave (moment of silence, please, for my fallen underwear, bedsheets and numerous other surfaces I’ve potentially assaulted), and becoming a cyclist.
There is no escaping those awkward stages of ill-fitting kit, scraped knees from failing to unclip in time, and let’s not forget our final inaugurations…our first flat tyre. Oh yes, I remember my days like it was yesterday, because for the sake of this article, I’m going to pretend like I have finally emerged from my cycling pubescence and can 4 times out of 10, manage to clip back in when pushing off on a hill.
I’ll show you mine, if you show me yours…
Let’s just take a moment to actually absorb the above, and also take a moment to let the fact sink in that I actually stopped at the coffee (ahem, sorry, BREW) shop like this.
The guy at the bike store tried desperately to get me to buy some kit for myself. But all I walked out with was some shoes, entry level pedals (that I literally only just replaced on Lulu for my birthday this year) and a Giro Raze children’s helmet (apparently you can put a $40 price tag on safety).
What did I need kit for, I scoffed to myself, the old boyfriend has plenty I can use! And that, my ladies and gentleman, brings me to Exhbit A in the above photo. Stupid grin? Check. Thumbs up? check. Oversized, baggy, tucked in jersey? Check, check and check. Finally, my favourite, men’s knicks? Check.
My face as I relive these moments…
Going through cycling puberty is a rite of passage…it’s not something that should be skipped, whether by accident or pure luck. Those first fabled river loops have served me up more humble pie than the Samford Bakery has handed out cream finger buns. Everybody starts somewhere, and don’t you let any cycling snob tell you different. They might swan about in their jawbreakers, POC helmets, the wank factor announcing their presence as they casually, haughtily freewheel past you; but don’t be fooled – they too have a closet full of skinned knees, replica team kits and hairy legs.
I’d put up a THEN vs NOW comparison photo, but somehow, I just don’t think you’d see much of a difference. I still regularly forget to shave my legs (blonde hair, can’t see it) and my helmet is just as determined to be crooked on my head as my co-ordination is to push off and unsuccessfully clip in first go every time. But hey, at least now I can change a flat tyre in less than 30 minutes.
Please tell me I’m not alone in my late blooming cycling puberty?