How Do I Know If I Suffer from Bikeaholism?
This article is out of the January, 1988 newsletter of the Wheeling (IL)
Wheelmen (they host the annual Harmon Hundred). This was written by
Dick Sorensen and is reprinted without permission for your enjoyment and
reading pleasure. Any additional "tests" for this list may be sent to
. Now for the test.
"Are You An Incurable Bikeaholic?"
Take This Test!
"You don't love me anymore!" "I always come second place to your @#$%
bicycles!" Sound familiar? You're definitely in trouble. You may be
going overboard on the fresh air and exercise bit. You've gone too far!
You've probably fallen victim to the insidious malady known as BIKAHOLISM!
What are they symptoms, you ask? Well based on personal experience, I
offer the following self-analysis.
You know you're an incurable bikeaholic when . . .
- You find that a strange jargon is working its way into your everyday
conversation. Words like "derailleur," "Campagnolo," "Biopace,"
"Kevlar," "Dia Comp," and "Shimano."
- You have an uncontrollable urge to bring your bike into the house -
preferably in the living room or the bedroom.
- You find it amazingly easy to justify the purchase of a third bike -
this one just for special rides.
- You plan, and actually look foward to, a two-week bicycling vacation
trekking across mountainous terrain and setting a goal of 75 - 100
mils a day, rain or shine!
- You can actually remember which valve type is Presta and which is
Schraeder, and are adament about defending your favorite.
- Your spouse begins to automatically assume that you'll be on a club
ride every weekend, or worse yet your non-riding spouse begins to
learn bike jargon.
- You meticulously care for your bike, while your $10,000 car quietly
- You view Christmas, birthdays, and anniversaries as times to exchage
gifts of bicycling components and accessories.
- You hang around bike shops without really needing anything.
- You're so naive that you think a "wheel-watcher" is a bike racing fan.
- You accumulate bike catalogs - and find something new to order with
each new issue.
- You easily rationalize replacing perfectly good components, just
because somthing slightly better or trendier just came out.
- You never throw away the replaced parts - even worn out tires and tubes.
- Your eating habits have changed. Things like "gorp," "Gookinade," and
"carbohydrates" creep into your diet.
- You plan the year ahead around the dates of TOSRV, GEAR, the LAW
rally, the Hilly Hundred, the Makleville Death Ride, etc (the list
grows longer every year).
- You don't plan any family events ahead until checking the "Monthly
- You begin to regard your job or school as a troublesome nuisance,
interfering with your quality biking time.
- You divide your friendships into two groups - those that bike and
those that don't bike.
- You talk about Lemond, Induran, Chiapucci, and Bugno as if they were
close personal friends.
- You find yourself carrying on a spirited conversation with "Larry,"
the ever silent riding companion, when viewing the cycling video on
your wind trainer.
- Your all-time favorite movies are "Breaking Away" and "American
- You talk as if you really understand gear ratios.
- You'll ride all day in the numbing cold and soaking rain, and then
complain at home if a draft from an open window blows on you.
- Your family photo album is becoming filled with bike photos and
scenery views shot through the spokes. On the other hand, you have not
taken a candid photo of you spouse or kids for two years.
- You faithfully log every mile ridden.
- You regard the severity of a sickness or injury by the length of time
it takes until you can resume biking.
- You're beginning to actually enjoy drinking warm water out of a water
bottle (especially at sag stops, sitting on the cold ground and
pigging out on bananas.)
- You have a permanent black grease mark across the calf of your right
- Your biggest goal is to qualify for RAAM (or some other suitably
- You would like to wear your colorful skin outfits to work.
- You belong to more than two bike clubs and/or subscribe to more than
two bike magazines.
- You consider not being able to ride on your favorite ride as "the
- You hang on to your favorite biking outfits, like a child's teddy-
bear, even though they are tattered and torn.
- You find your memory has improved - you can remember all the price
tags in your half dozen bike catalogs down to the last detail without
- You are more concerned about your favorite bike than anything else
in anticipation of an earthquake.
- You find working up a 20% climb more entertaining than gobbling down
pop corn while watching your favorite TV show.
So there you have it. How'd you do with the test? You may wonder -- how
do I know these intimate secrets that you thought only you knew. What
can I say? It takes one to know one.
I hope you enjoyed this little excursion.