Why Spandex Biking Shorts?


I noticed on my bikeride home last night how ugly west Michigan has become.  We seem to have sacrificed beauty for convenience, traded richness for ease; wood was traded for plastic and vinyl, and relationship traded for a bigger house.  The sum result seems to be a society that neither cares for nor finds value in small things that hold such great promise.  Old houses with rich character are covered in mute vinyl, large utility poles line the road with heavier cables intent on bringing more power to supply more appliances to further disconnect us with life on the outside.

As a pedestrian, riding 20 miles to and from work this lack of concern quickly regresses into an all-out contempt for human life.  The cars passing me on a long uphill are angry with me for what amounts to a 4 second slow-down in their rush to get to the next thing.  I know its 4 seconds because I usually count the time from the drop in engine rpm to the point where, just ahead of my handlebars, they slam the pedal down like a cop headed to a robbery.  Compassion and concern for others only matter on Sunday or when we need to feel good about ourselves.  We write the check, hold the door, smile to the stranger – all while thinking “what a good boy am I”.  Honestly, I think I now know why “Jesus wept”.

Think about these things next time you see someone walking along a road, or when you see a fuzzy cow enjoying green grass in a field.  Be amazed when you see children playing outdoors in the mud, using sticks and empty boxes and full imaginations.  Think of these things when you speed past frumpy, middle aged cyclists wearing spandex shorts and outrageous colored jerseys.  Go ahead and say to yourself “why’s that ass in the road, he should be on the sidewalk” (a sidewalk which likely doesn’t exist, but you didn’t notice).  Go ahead and think that but bear in mind, the very reason those cyclists wear those tights is so that that magnificent rump of theirs can look you right in the eye and say…

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