I recently posted the above photo on one of the popular image sharing sites. Someone commented that “it’s dangerous to ride such skinny tires” on a trail like that. Yes, they actually used the d-word.
When I think of bicycling and danger, riding a skinny-tire-equipped bike on dirt roads isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. No, danger would involve me riding against traffic, after dark, with no lights or reflective gear, all while wearing noise-canceling headphones. That’s dangerous.
And what about the person who said that I had made the “wrong tire/bike choice for that terrain”? Wrong? I always thought that choosing a bike–any bike–was the right choice.
Riding a bicycle shouldn’t be reduced to a problem-solving exercise. I’m not riding because I want to attain someone else’s concept of perfection. I’d much rather have fun riding the wrong bike or the wrong tires on supposedly dangerous terrain.
I have ridden this trail hundreds of times. I’ve ridden it so many times that I probably take its very existance for granted. Today was different, though. For some unknown reason I felt compelled to stop and just take it all in. I listened to the prairie dogs’ chatter, and exchanged a few words with a woman who was walking her dog. I wasn’t thinking about my job, Strava, or even this blog.
And for that, I’m very grateful.