As long as I’ve known her my mom was always a matronly homemaker that wore dresses with socks and sneakers. She had countless housecoats, she never wore makeup, and only did her hair on occasion. It never occurred to me that that wasn’t who she really was.
I know more about her now than I ever knew about her when she was alive. I had no idea that she had once cared very much about her appearance. When she was younger she dressed to the nines. Her purse, shoes, and hat matched perfectly. She could’ve been a runway model.
When I first started cycling I bought a lot of cheap crap. I was broke so I bought what I could afford. It was only when I went to Wisconsin that I felt what it was like to cycle in premium materials. Even then I wore sport ankle socks that weren’t specifically for cycling.
I started to replace my cheap cycling crap with premium gear at an affordable price. I buy good stuff cheap. Eventually my sunglasses got all scratched up and I replaced them with designer imposters. I ditched those mountain bike shoes and replaced them with top of the line carbon shoes and road specific pedals. I stopped wearing those thick ankle socks and started wearing thinner, more breathable cycling compression socks. I’ve always kept my tech up to date. I change my cycling computer and running watch every couple of years. I have all the coolest gadgets.
When my mom passed I started realizing that I won’t be young forever and that I should enjoy putting outfits together. I look forward to my weekend ride. After getting through the work week it’s very special. I pick out the kit I want to wear, choose the helmet that closely matches it, and I try to pair it with fun socks. The road is where I let myself shine. I put a good amount of thought into my weekday rides but it’s just a different feeling.
I wore the same designer imposter sunglasses for a couple years before realizing that I really like them. If I like the knockoffs I knew I’d love the name brand pair even more. I ditched the cheap imposters and bought the real deal. I absolutely love them!
So now I pose the question: What if my mom were a cyclist? Well, if my mom were a cyclist she would’ve been the most glam woman on two wheels. Everything she wore would’ve matched and she would’ve had such a sense of flair and swag. She’d have all the latest tech and kept up with all the latest trends. More importantly, she would’ve been tough. She would’ve gotten right back up if she fell. She would’ve taken pulls at the front and waited up for riders that fell back. She would’ve shared gels and food with anyone that didn’t bring enough to eat.
I realize now that I’m much more like her than I ever thought. Because our personalities often clashed, I fought tooth and nail not to become like my mother. I guess it escaped my attention that she had so many other amazing qualities. I’m proud to say that I’m very much like my mother and if my mother had been a cyclist then she pretty much would’ve been me…..