Playing house is fun. Especially if you're 18 or 19 and you and your lover move in together without the benefit of marriage. You can buy drapes, and get a dog, and do dishes together on a Saturday night. But it's different being married. I can't fully explain why, but it is different.
Playing church is fun. You can get a pulpit and some pews; you can pick out stained glass windows and flowers for the altar rail in the front. You can sing songs, and call each other brother and sister. But it's different being the church in a place where it might really cost you something, especially if that cost is your life.
Playing bicycle club is fun. You can have meetings and talk about matching riding shirts, and make fun stickers to put on your car. You can plan a really big ride that all the world will want to come to. And when they come, you can hand out bananas and Gatorade and say, "Good job! Not long to go now!" when they ride past you. But being a real cyclist is different.
I am aware that the term "real cyclist" is undefinable. So is the term "beauty", but we use it anyway; and we think we know it when we see it. In broad terms that you can feel free to disagree with, a real cyclist is someone who loves cycling. She loves it enough to ride her bike in the dark as well as in the daylight. He loves cycling enough to plan his days off, even his vacation, around cycling. A real cyclists rides, and rides, and rides.
Sure matching shirts are cool. And bumper stickers with the club logo is cool. But a cyclist knows that riding is really cool. There is nothing more cool than riding - alone, with others, on a great day, on a crummy day, when it's pleasant, when it's cold or hot or raining or whatever - riding a bike is really a cool thing to do.
To read about someone who inspires me see