Durango takes cycling very seriously. Evidence of this are the $1,000 cars with $10,000 bikes fastened to the top. I myself am guilty of driving a POS, but riding a carbon-fiber beauty.
To get you up to speed on who you might see on bikes in Durango, here’s the rundown. We have four types of cyclists:
The practical: These are the people you see riding a cruiser around in street clothes who generally have a goofy pedal stroke and look fairly uncomfortable as they drudge along. Their jeans are rolled on one side and a satchel hangs on the other. They ride clunkers to and from work, when they are not driving their fancy cars. Their primary use for bikes is an alternative to driving after a long night at the bar.
The Shredders: These folks are addicted to the adrenaline unique to mountain biking. You will recognize these endurbros by their knee pads, baggy clothing, goggles and open face helmets. They are the group having an endless bike conversation while extensively criticizing IPAs at the end of the bar. They possess the rare ability to drink you under the table and still contend for national championships the next day.
Road wrestlers: These are the bikers you cover your kid’s eyes from to avoid exposure to track marks and spandex-clad bulges. Recognizing a roadie is easy: They’re addicted to shaving their legs, hammering out 100-mile-long road rides and an overabundance of red blood cells. Although you make us late to work, we all respect your mental threshold for pain and superior lungs, but you still look absurd in your singlets.
The bad asses: These cyclists are in no one’s way. They are the best of the bunch, the ones everyone respects because they live for (or endure) both pain and adrenaline. Bikes to this group act as a metaphorical prosthetic for the soul; this group fuses flesh to metal to conquer unbelievable terrain.
In talking to friends and other fellow riders, the best responses I’ve heard to why people ride are from males and liken comparisons to females. As one friend said, “I find more interest in a bike than I ever will in any girl or class.” That’s an impressive statement; girls and class consume the majority of my life. Another said, “Bikes are great. Not only does she (the bike) bring out the best of me, she even lets me ride her whenever I want.” There is more to two wheels than meets the eye.
If you needed any further reason to get atop a bike, let me offer a few:
Bikes make friends. Nearly every sport does. Get a bike, join the team and meet others who simply love bikes and love you … for loving bikes.
Bikes save lives through the dynamic duo of preventing drunken driving (drunken riding: way less dangerous!) and killing depression simultaneously.
Bikes save the earth. Every pedal stroke down reduces carbon emissions.
Bikes keep you healthy. Eat whatever you want, after you ride, of course.
The only downfall: Bikes can be expensive, especially the kinds you’ll find around this serious bike town.
Ryan Yaseen is a Durango boy by birth, currently a sophomore studying communication at FLC. Outside school, his preoccupations involve world travel, mountain biking and adventure sports.