When Did You Become a Cyclist?

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An off-center perspective, lots of information and cool illustrations by Christopher KoelleYou'll find all this and more in Bike Snob: Systematically and Mercilessly Realigning The World of Cycling by Eben Weiss, AKA Bike Snob NYC.   Having so far finished part 1 of this 3-part book, I recommend it as a fun and informative read. 

 Weiss defines a cyclist thus:

a) a person who rides a bicycle even when he or she doesn't have to
b) a person who values the act of riding a bicycle over the tools one needs in order to do it 

I've ridden bikes off and on for most of my life, but it's only recently that I've thought of myself as a cyclist. Incorporating "cyclist" into my identity was linked to the slow transition from recreational rider to bike commuter, with a much faster progression to bicycle tourist. I believe I can claim that tag, even if so far I have done just one tour.

Being a cyclist means I ride lots more than I used to. I ride because I like to ride. I get on the bike for fun and fitness, for errand running and as transportation. It also means learning how to change a flat (something I still am shaky on); trying and then discarding or adopting various accessories and components; avidly reading cycling blogs and magazines; advocating for cyclist safety; recognizing how to stave off heat exhaustion in summer; layering up for winter riding; seeking out the perfect cycling bags and (to my surprise) owning  2 bikes with a third on the way.  

How about you? Were you always a cyclist? What does being a cyclist mean for you?

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