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When I came home last night, I noticed several people roaming around the neighborhood. It was obvious that a neighbor’s dog had gotten out. So I got off of my motorcycle with my helmet still on and immediately started looking for the pup. The good news is we found him a few blocks away.
Once the excitement was over with, I walked back to my house with another neighbor. We’ll call her Lisa. Why? Well, that’s actually her name. As I’ve done several times before, I asked Lisa when she and her husband, who both ride bikes, would come for a ride with me. Almost on cue, as she always does, her ready-made answer was, “Oh, we’re not at your level.” I asked, “Lisa, what level is that?” She replied, “You know…the fancy level…with all the high-end bikes and kit.” She was basically saying she wasn’t “sponge worthy.”
I told you that to tell you this. I started thinking about what Lisa had to say. I thought about a lot of comments I hear on a daily basis when I walk into the local Starbucks. Of course, I live Hollywood adjacent. I think this stretches across the bicycling nation. They think unless you pay a lot of money – into the thousands of dollars – you’re not a real cyclist.
How do you determine who’s a real cyclist? Here’s the Vinnie definition. Yes, I used myself in the third person, get over it. Definition: You are a real cyclist when you…wait for it…ride a bike. It doesn’t take special equipment.
To answer the question most people ask me when they want to know my favorite bike or my dream bike, as I’ve mentioned before, I truly love my 30-year-old DeRosa with Columbus SLX tubing (a frame I bought on eBay for under $200). The bike is pieced together like Frankenstein. The frame and fork are both old. The paint job and the drive trane are brand new. I’ve been actually laughed at and criticized for putting such high-end parts and such a paint job on an old bike.
But as my friend Steve said after riding it one day, “It’s the difference between Pamela Anderson and Sophia Loren. They both get the job done, but come on….Sophia Loren!”