• Home
  • Pedal Ponderings

Bicycling can be a unifying experience. It doesn't matter if you are a world class sprinter or just a casual pedal pusher.  We all enjoy riding simply for the pleasure it adds to our lives.


Who’s a Good Cyclist?

Maybe the question should be… What’s a good cyclist? On rides, I often hear, “Do you know Mary Mt’climer? She’s a really good rider, & so is Mark Tryterium.” I don’t know about you, but if asked what constitutes a “good” rider I’d be hard pressed to answer that question. A good rider, to most people, usually means that they’re strong and/or fast. But is that it? I know fast riders who aren’t very good bike handlers, in fact on a narrow 2 lane road they can’t make a U turn without putting a foot down. How about making a U turn on the bike path? Hah! Don’t even think about. They might not have heard about counter steering or could describe it and might not be able to “bunny hop” an obstacle in the road. Years ago, when I taught bike handling classes no fast/strong riders took the class, probably because they “already knew everything.” I taught the class and I sure don’t know and can’t do everything. I know slower and even novice riders that can make a U turn within a single parking space, are excellent bike handlers in general, can dodge obstacles at the last second, can stay upright even after touching somebody’s rear wheel, and can leap tall buildings in a single bound. But it’s hard for them to ride more than 11 to 12 mph. Would they be a good rider? What about a cyclist that has ridden for many years without having a crash? Crashing certainly isn’t good, and in my personal experience the pavement hasn’t softened up any throughout the years.  And yes, I know that some incidents are virtually impossible to avoid. Some cyclists take immaculate care of their bikes. Their bikes are always spotless, lubed, silent, and perfectly adjusted. They’re very knowledgeable about what makes a bike tick and are able to carry on complicated conversations about tire construction, various component groups and materials from which frames are made. There are cyclists that have ridden for many, many years and their mileage totals ‘leventy thousand miles. Some riders log astonishing numbers of miles per year and, if they were honest, compete for that goal. Are they good riders? I see cyclists (not many) who come to a complete stop at every red light and stop sign, always signal, are comfortable riding in traffic, leading rides, and know how to position themselves on the road or in the lane to get good results when turning or navigating on busy roads. Good riders? No one would argue that our local roads are in less than pristine condition. Some riders never point to, or call out hazards, no matter how severe they are. Bicycle eating chuckholes that would turn your front wheel into a plate of spaghetti, huge bumps, a turn full of inch-deep pea gravel, or an angry bull charging at them on the road seem to not bother them in the least. Then there are the better safe than sorry riders who seem unable to ride more than 50 yards without yelling about road conditions; CRACKS, HOLE, where there’s a hole about the size of a silver dollar, GRAVEL, when there are 3 little stones off the cornering line, BUMP, ROUGH ROAD, etc. Sure, they’re safety conscious and that’s a good thing, but this gets annoying after a while. Pointing to or calling out significant obstacles is necessary. Cyclists that carry so much with them you might wonder if their 1st communion picture isn’t in their bag somewhere, and they never ride more than a few miles from home. Sure, you need some essential tools and spares to repair road emergencies, but some of these riders are prepared to handle train crashes. So, what exactly IS a good cyclist? I confess that I don’t know. I dare say that nobody does everything right, some riders do several of the things I written about, and maybe there are riders who do almost none of them. I don’t know what makes a good cyclist, and I’m sure there are many things I’ve left off the above list. Yeah, I wrote this and I’m certainly not laying claim to being a good cyclist. I’m not so sure I fit that description. I’m wondering what you have to say about what makes a good cyclist. -  Larry Best


Add Some Smiles to Your Miles

  • Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen. - Louis L'Amour 
  • Bicyclers pollute more than other people – they live longer. 
  • Riding into the wind builds character(s)…probably explains our membership.
  • It’s just a hill…get over it. 

“Handing over a bank note is enough to make a bicycle belong to me, but my entire life is needed to realize this possession." Jean-Paul Sartre

  • Training doesn't get easier; you just get faster.-Greg Lemond
  • "Get a bicycle. You won't regret it, if you live." Mark Twain
  • If you want to enjoy your job, get a hobby that is worse. - Calvin's dad
  • "May you have the wind at your back and a really low gear for the hills!"
  •  Life is like a ten-speed bike. Most of us have gears we never use.

-Charles Schulz 

In 1900, people were amazed to see vehicles go down the road at 20 MPH. They still are. 

.. A bicycle can't stand alone; it's just two tired. 

"If you don't have anything in your head worth ten bucks, it's a shame to endanger a good helmet."

Seller:                      It's a good bike.

Prospective Buyer:  Not bad, if the price is reasonable.  How low can you go?

Seller:                      I fall over at less than two miles an hour.

Abusive/bad driver going by you on the street = passhole


I went to the liquor store Friday afternoon on my bicycle, bought a bottle of Scotch and put it in the bicycle basket.

As I was about to leave, I thought to myself that if I fell off the bicycle, the bottle would break. So I drank all the Scotch before I cycled home. It turned out to be a very good decision, because I fell off my bicycle seven times on the way home.


Motorist in Corvette to cyclist with broken chain: 

"Sorry, I haven't got room for both you and your bike.  I do have a piece of rope.  You can tie your bike to the 'vette and I will slowly tow you.  If I am going too fast, ring your bell and I'll slow down"



All was going well until an XKE doing 90 passed the corvette.  The 'vette driver forgot about his trailer and took off after the XKE.

Speedtrap patrolman to dispatch:

"Sarge, you're not going to believe this, but an XKE just passed me doing 100 mph with a corvette in hot pursuit, and a bicyclist behind him signaling like mad to pass!"


A Velodrome Cue Sheet:



Cycling Mentality

While checking out a trail new to me, I came across a sad little old man riding a tandem by himself.  I asked him why was he alone.

"Every week my wife and I rode the tandem on this trail for twenty years.  It was nice, but she died."

Me: "Couldn't you get a friend to ride with you?"

He: "Oh, no.  They're all at the funeral."

Copyright 2022 Silver Wheels Cycling Club | Dog Days Wine Tour

Silver Wheels Cycling Club is a 501 C(7) non-profit organization. P.O.Box 242 Vermilion, Oh 44089

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software