• Patrick Gabrion

Me, myself, and I

On the back page of each issue of Bicycling magazine is an article titled "How To Be A Rider." By selecting one word over another, and in some cases explaining why, everyday cyclists who are featured give the reader a little insight into their preferences when it comes to pedaling a bike. I've decided to take a crack at this self-assessment, so here goes ...


— Gears or single speed. I'm going to have to pick GEARS. There are just too many big hills in Maine. If I was riding regularly in a place like the flat farmland of my native state of Michigan, I'd probably be tempted to opt for single speed or even a fixed-gear bicycle.


— Sports drink or water. It's got to be WATER; give me the real stuff any time. Years ago, I would have a bottle of Powerade on rides, but too much of it didn't agree with me. So just water now, although at the end of a century I like to have a San Pellegrino fruit beverage for the sugar boost.


The hills of Hallowell. I enjoy going up.

— Tubeless or inner tube. I'm still stuck on INNER TUBES, but many of my friends have gone over to the other side.


— Road noise or headphones. It's ROAD NOISE for me. If someone is getting too close, I want to hear them. Wearing headphones is just plain dangerous.


— Disc brake or rim brake. That's a tough one. I use both and like both. But if I had to choose, I'll go with DISC BRAKE. Just better performance in all kinds of conditions.


— Long ride or intervals. One is good for daydreaming, while the other one hurts. LONG RIDE, please.


— Phone or GPS device. It's just easier to take photos with my PHONE. And I do have Maps if I get lost.


— Cap or helmet. Without a doubt, I prefer a HELMET. You only have one brain, so you've got to protect it. I always wear one; just feel naked without it.


— Pump or CO2. My oldest bike, the Schwinn Circuit, has a place on the frame to carry a pump. But I've gone modern and carry CO2 cartridges in my bike bag. Can be a bit messy until you get the hang of it.


— Wool or Spandex. Wool makes me itch, so I like SPANDEX next to my baby-soft skin.


— Flat or rolling. I find flat boring, so the Pine Tree State's ROLLING terrain makes me happy.


— Drop bar or flat bar. Again, I have bikes with both options. It all really depends on the type of riding I'm doing, but if I was forced to select one I'd pick DROP BAR.


— Metal or composite. I have four bicycles made of metal, two from composite, and one a combination of both. When it comes right down to it, I believe I'm a METAL guy.


— Electronic or mechanical. Bikes are getting too complicated; I enjoy the simple pleasures in life. Thumbs up for MECHANICAL.


— Climb or descend. I like getting my heart rate up, so it's up for me ... CLIMB.


— Coast or pedal. Coasting miles don't count, and besides PEDAL is part of my blog name.


— Pack or solo. That's the beauty of cycling. You can choose to do either and derive a great deal of satisfaction. Be with friends or go it alone. Enough said.


There you have it. A little more about me, myself, and I. Time for a ride, so please be safe.



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