Does the bike matter?
By José Neves
Everything that surrounds us matters, otherwise it wouldn’t exist: our family matters, our children matter, our house matters, our car matters, our bike matters.
Everything in our life matters
When you are talking about people… everything does matter! But when you are talking about objects… everything is relative and everything depends on the importance you give to that particular object.
When I started cycling more than 25 years ago, my friends and I were sure that the kind of bike you cycled was very important for your performance. Therefore, we were always wanting to buy the latest model, the lightest bike, the best solution for this or that. We really thought that we needed that to improve our performance.
At that time, we used to organize bike tours at the weekend for Portuguese people. People came from different parts of the country and everybody brought their own bike. It was a good opportunity to meet different people and make new friends while cycling in some amazing trails.
It was also an opportunity to compare your bike with everybody else’s and everybody was always very proud of their bike. Usually when you saw a good bike, you expected that person to cycle very well. The truth is that most of the times we judge people by what they have or what they show. And we shouldn’t!
That day there was a young man on that organized tour that was wearing normal shorts – not lycra padded cycling shorts like everybody else – and cycling a very old bike with no fancy gears or whatever. Some people looked at him as if he didn’t belong to that group, as if he couldn’t keep up with them (because their bikes were better than his!).
Does the bike matter? Everything is relative.
This young man cycled and he cycled better than many others. And he showed us that what matters is not the top-notch equipment of your bike. In a very simple way he showed us that what really matters in this case is your legs! Your will and joy of live help you achieve the goals you set in your life. In the end, it is really up to you! Nobody was expecting this from him!
It was a big surprise for all of us and we learned a lot from it! And this is one of those small but important experiences in our life that makes us move! This is what I call Evolution, and this is the reason of our existence.