by Scott Martin
I can’t think of another sport with as much superstition and mythology as cycling.
Sure, every sport boasts some folklore. In ice hockey, you never shoot the puck into the net after the ref has stopped play. In baseball, you never tell the pitcher he’s throwing a no-hitter until the game’s over. In American football, you never inject steroids till the coach turns his back.
But cycling is nothing but quirks. Both hub quick-release handles must be on the left side. The label on your tire’s sidewall has to go above the valve. Never wear your jersey beneath the suspenders of bib shorts.
There’s a good reason for most of these. But I’ve come to believe that much cycling wisdom is not so bright. Like the old saw that riding in bad weather makes you a tougher, better cyclist.
Despite the Quick Tip, spare me. One rainy, cold ride and you’ve learned all you need: Dress properly, be careful, stay fueled. Now you can stay home, get a better workout on your trainer, and avoid getting sick.
Or take base miles. Please.
Once you’ve been riding consistently for a couple of years, the only reason to spend 3 months going 14 mph is if your goal is to ride really slowly next season.
I could go on, but I have stop now. If I don’t get my fixed-gear bike ready by January 1, my legs will forget how to pedal.
Those are not “myths”. I do know the tire label over the valve is actually to help you find the location of a puncture. And wearing a jersey under the bib straps is well, just plain tacky but not a myth. I would guess QR levers go on the left just to clean-up the looks on the most photogenic side of the bike. Remember, cycling is about looking as good as we ride or else we wouldn’t shave our legs, wear matching kit and keep our bikes clean and shiny.