UNIVERSAL TRUTH OF CYCLING #22: CHECKING OUT YOUR REFLECTION IN SHOP WINDOWS.
“Let a man find himself, in distinction from others, on top of two wheels with a chain - at least in a poor country like Russia - and his vanity begins to swell out like his tires. In America it takes an automobile to produce this effect.”
- - Leon Trotsky
Correction, Leon. It also takes a bike that costs as much as an automobile, plus a row of shop windows, to produce this effect.
You can’t resist it. You can’t roll by a line of shops with all that reflective glass without at least glancing over and getting a glimpse of how you’re looking on the bike.
First you do that little look-around to see if anyone is watching you check yourself out. Then you glance.
If it’s a flattering window, you’ve got on your nicest kit and you’re in good shape, you give yourself a few, long seconds to soak it in as you roll by.
But not to worry. For if the bicycle helps enable vanity, it can also deliver us from its clutches. Take it away, Franz.
“Always first draw fresh breath after outbursts of vanity and complacency.”
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