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.
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!