Last week I posted my first video ever on YouTube. It's about a bike trip up the California coast to visit my mom in Port Hueneme.
Anyway, there's a reason most people bust out laughing when they see it. I keep my helmet on, play up the dorky aspect of biking, and try on purpose to be a nerd.
Because biking is for everybody.
All the bike magazines are filled with pictures of supermodels. Even the non-profits like Adventure Cyclist feature bicyclists who have made it a lifestyle, and tend to be in great shape as a result.
Most of the bicycle media portray cyclists as ultra-healthy athletes, and there is some truth to this.
But it's enough to discourage a lot of "normal" people who would probably like to start riding, but say to themselves, "I'm too old/fat/weak/lazy/ to ride a bike."
But the truth is, you don't have to be an athlete to start biking. If anything, biking is one of the easiest and most fun ways of becoming more athletic. You start to see this happen pretty quickly once you get into it.
I had to start somewhere, we all did, and that's the whole point. You don't have to be an athlete just to start.
I was a nerd, back in the days before it became cool to be a nerd. Then I started bike touring, and my self confidence improved even faster than my physique.
But the quirky geek is still in there, so when I make a video about biking that's the role I'm going to play.
Now I have a request for you. If you're a biker, make a point to encourage people to ride who are especially insecure about their size, weight, or physical ability. Especially if you had to deal with those issues yourself at some point in your life.
If you like to show off, then start making videos. Here's mine:
By the way, if you've ever had an interest in touring Italy by bicycle, check out the touring Italy FAQs page: http://www.bicyclefreedom.com/?page_id=19