Over the past few months I have had more than one person ask me "are you really a cyclist?". At first it didn't really bother me because I am not built like a typical "fit" cyclist. I am about 70 pounds overweight and I look more like a person that sits on the couch and eats ice cream and donuts.
The first person saw my bike on the car and asked if it was mine. Really? Nope...I just drive around with it on the back of my car....here's your sign. The second walked up the same day and started asking me how much I ride. This was a few days after I did the Holland 100, so at that point....my response was "I just rode 104 miles last Saturday". The guy goes "Really?!?!?"......he would have been better served just blurting out "I don't f'king believe you".
So, a few weeks later I got another one. I was talking to a guy about dying my hair blue for Iceman last year and I explained that it was for a mountain bike race and the scrawny bastard looks me up and down and goes "really dude?" with a super unbelievable look.
My wheels started turning and I began to wonder what exactly a mountain biker, or a cyclist, actually look like. I am 6'1" and weigh 250 pounds. I have friends that are 6' and weigh 175 pounds. I have cycling friends that are 240, 160, 120, 260 pounds. I think we all look like cyclists. Maybe it is our helmets. Maybe our bikes. Off bikes we look like everyone else. We look like engineers, doctors, teachers, and managers. I guess maybe the spandex or cycling shoes set us apart from everyone else. I do wonder, what do professional football or baseball players look like in street clothes. I could see a place kicker or punter getting the "you are a professional football player???" question. I do know some people that look like football players, others that look like basketball players.
Moral of the story is....I asked them when they wanted to go ride so I could show them....not one of them took me up on the offer. I will continue to ride and be whatever size I am....continually proving that I can do what rail skinny people cannot. I will just do what I do and keep amazing people. Why.....because I am amazing.