Writer. Warning: opinions. My lawyer advised a disclaimer, but didn't include any jokes to go with. Damned if I can think of any either.

Cruising Too Laid Back

If you’ve spent any time looking around on internet dating sites for that special someone, you know how awkward it can be. You also get pretty familiar with what most people are looking for in a potential life mate with whom they’ll very likely have some inebriated casual sex and not much else. One of those traits is being “laid back”.

It makes sense. After all, to quote Ferris Bueller, life comes at you fast. If you’re going to hang around with someone new, the last thing you want is for them to be freaking out all the time.

Of course, some of the people you meet on any corner of the Internet are also going to have habits and behaviors that absolutely should freak any sane person out, this blog being no exception. After a while, one might be led to wonder if the people desperately seeking someone who is “laid back” are doing so because they are themselves “dangerous lunatics” and only someone so “laid back” as to be indistinguishable from “comatose” could stand it.

Cheryl, for instance, is fond of the phrase “Don’t judge,” with which she attempts to put the burden of understanding for her ridiculous acts on me, rather than leaving the burden upon herself to not act like a retard. After all, the entire point of dating someone is to judge whether you should continue dating them. If you’re too laid back, you might never realize who in your life is in need of some strange looks, or possibly a shove out an open car door.

Mind you, I did not meet Cheryl on the internet, but she’s every bit as weird as anyone I ever did.

Finally there is a way to turn crappy mountain bikes into crappy recumbents.
But dating internet weirdos is not the only facet of life in which one can be too laid back. These are my thoughts as I look at the Cruzbike conversion kit which turns Y-frame mountain bikes into recumbents, a process not unlike turning a bad girlfriend into a worse wife.

“But Jim,” you might be saying. “What’s wrong with recumbents?”

Well, nothing, really. There’s also nothing really wrong with wearing your pants pulled up to your nipples, wearing your hair combed over your obvious bald spot, or shouting at kids to get off your lawn. Riding laid back is really just the most senior position of a devoted cyclist that starts with the ever-moving stem/seat position.

You see, road bikes come with positive rise stems and a couple of spacers, as demonstrated here by a photo that I lifted from oldfartcycling.org (not a made up domain). Then, thanks to peer pressure from fellow riders, the new cyclist will flip his stem into a negative rise position and lose the spacers one by one as his core becomes stronger, eventually riding with his stem right down on the headset as the pros do. This position gives the greatest aerodynamic as well as smugodynamic benefits.

As a cyclist ages, however, the spacers start to reappear, perhaps in conjunction with a positive rise stem. The rider’s back-to-top-tube angle increases year by year until he finally reaches the tipping point and falls backward into a recumbent position. In this way, people with a desire to ride and a stark lack of shame can pedal into their golden years. I’m sure I will be there soon enough, at which point I will doubtless delete this post.

So, if you have a mountain bike in your garage that you bought anywhere with “Mart” in the name and an upright riding position is no longer your thing, perhaps the Cruzbike conversion kit is for you. I must admit I’d love to build one up and ride it around some to see what sort of reactions I can get about it. Call me curious.

Now I have to spend some time on my combover, so get off my lawn!

5 thoughts on “Cruising Too Laid Back”

  1. LaLoyd

    Hilar!!! Thanks for the laughs.

  2. jim

    No, no. Thank YOU

  3. Travis

    Sometimes, people just ride recumbents because they want to go really fast and don’t want to pedal with their knees hitting their nipples.

    Barbara Buatois, who holds the women’s human powered speed record and finished first in the women’s solo category of Race Across America, is not old, does not hike her pants up, and has no reason to do a comb-over.


    Granted, she doesn’t ride a Cruzbike. But Maria Parker, who recently set a world record for the 100 mile, does.


  4. jim

    Well you’re absolutely right that recumbents get an aero benefit. I’m told they also get you 10% off the early bird special at Golden Corral.

  5. Paul

    Wow… How did I miss this?
    Let me tell you about the benefits of recumbents…. If you wait for me at the top of the hill I’ll tell you all about it.
    I love my recumbent. I also love riding stupid distances for no reason other than the fact that its illegal to buy the drugs that give me the same feeling. Of course my other favorite bike is a 65 pound cargo bike….