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There are some discussions you find yourself in over and over again. It's like scratching a delicious itch. Or maybe once you've covered a topic you see no need to revisit it, and in a bid to enjoy the quiet life are willing to forgo the possibility of making converts to your point of view. Unable to commit fully to either course, I'm pondering the wisdom of autofill. You know how it works online: you start filling a form and your stock answers magically appear.

Why don't you wear a helmet?
If you ride a bike but a helmet doesn't ride your head, somebody is bound to ask why. I don't wear a helmet because cycling is safe. It's life that's dangerous.

Why doesn't your bike have gears?
Because they complicate my life. Extra gears, I mean; it does have the one, otherwise it would be a hobbyhorse.

Although the derailleur is a wonderful invention, there are perfectly valid reasons not to miss it. I would, however, miss freewheeling. Speaking of hobbyhorses...

Is freewheeling really for sissies?
True strength is pedaling not because you have to but because you want to.

How many bikes do you own?
More than enough.

How many are enough?
Cycling culture offers a particularly enabling environment for those who have issues with addiction, 'n+1' being a famous mathematical cyclelogical equation. You'll know you have enough when the cows come home.

What is a proper bike?
We all have our standards, and the industry breeds bikesnobs with every aspirational new model.
Ultimately this question can only be answered by a trip to a psychiatrist.

What is a proper cyclist?
See A proper cyclist.

Is it OK to ride while listening to music?
As long as you can hear the lyrics, otherwise there's no point.

Don't share your playlist if you have any concerns about your street cred.

Is it OK to ride no-handed?
Sure. Just don't tell your mum.

Do cyclists have to follow the rules?

Do zombies?
The living dead operate on base instinct and so follow the hardwired rules of – ironically enough – survival. Social norms do not apply, though they have been known to join cliques. Note: never give a zombie a Darwin Award. He'll just eat it.

What's in your bag?
Spare earphones and other stuff.

You claim to be a zen rider.
What exactly does that mean, grasshopper?

Everyone who has most of their Maslow sorted seeks enlightenment. Some study sacred texts. Others eschew divine words translated and interpreted by intermediaries with an agenda, and go with their gut. This is what works for me. YPTEMV.

Your Path To Enlightement May Vary.

What is the joy of cycling?
I'm so glad you asked.

Do you drive?
After a long sabbatical, yes. Thanks in part to Wang Chung.

Do you belong to a club?
Doesn't everybody?

Is one FAQ enough?


somewhat less anticipated questions

Who are you?
That depends how you got here.
I am or have been 905, Agony Guy, jollygoodthen, Gertrude and Theodore Blovius, amongst others. I am Sam. I run my counterfeiting operation out of the UK. Hello.

How long have you lived there?

Is it true Snark hunting was banned in Blighty?
"Hunting wild mammals with a dog (in the traditional style)" was made unlawful in England and Wales from 2005, which is not to say foxes can take it easy when the redcoats come around; there are exceptions. Snarks, on the other hand, are permitted to be hunted with forks and hope, but only if set loose afterwards.

What attracts you to forums?
They're a great playground for words and images. Friends, if you make any, are a bonus.

Is it true you're a genius?
Board certified.

Do you speak any foreign languages?
I'm working on my French.

How's your sex life?
That's between me and my ergostem.

Do you think you're funny or something?
To paraphrase the self-described "rock and roll band with horns" Chicago, Does anybody really know what's funny? Does anybody really care? I write the way I do because that's my voice; does my voice sound funny to you? In my defence, I have chronic sinusitis.

Do you have an abridged blog I can visit?
You betcha.