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Velocipede Verses #1: How to Avoid Cycling's Nadir: The Walk of Shame

I'm an avid cyclist who has ridden 36,000+ miles in the past decade or so. I enjoy sharing the little I know with interested others.

ode-to-being-prepared

This short poem of gentle, and hopefully somewhat humorous admonishment is the first in what will be an irregular series. I hope to continue to put forth in future more thoughts in verse about bicycles, riding bicycles, thinking about bicycles and so forth. From here, with only a few other ideas under my hat right now, with the tyranny of a finite amount of time on my hands, I won't commit to a specific routine or timeline, only to my desire to have a designated place for these to land as they arrive overhead one by one and are cleared to do so.

This particular poem is a companion piece to an article I wrote on the same topic. As I was crafting the last line of that work ("you'll definitely be ready for the next time your wheel starts to wobble and your tire starts to hiss") this one moved into my head and wouldn't leave. In truth, I gave this ode a home here so it would leave me alone. I hope you enjoy spending some time with it.

One last thought: I shared this with my very best lifelong friend and he said, "it works nicely to the tune of The Beverly Hillbillies." At first I just chuckled at that comment, but then the next day I went back and read it again and...hmmm...well, I'll let you be the judge.

How to Avoid the Long, Lonely Walk of Shame

When your wheel starts to wobble

And your tire starts to hiss

You’ll wish you did some prepping

‘Cuz let me tell you this


It will suck and really bad

To be out there on your own

A shredded tube without a spare

And no friend to give a loan

Flats are no fun, so be ready in case you get one!

Flats are no fun, so be ready in case you get one!

Of a tube or a pump

Or some essential needs

When your bike is on its back

On the roadside in the weeds


You’ll wish you’d planned ahead

Done some thoughtful preparation

Packed the tools that fit the jobs

When you ride in isolation

When your bike is on its back on the side of the road...that's not a great time to learn you don't have the right tools for the job...

When your bike is on its back on the side of the road...that's not a great time to learn you don't have the right tools for the job...

See, there’s two kinds of riders,

That’s regardless of their skill

There are the ones who’ve been there

There are the ones who will


Have their wheel start to wobble

And their tire start to hiss

And if they did some prepping

If they heeded all of this


They arrived at home on wheels

And they didn’t come up lame

They didn’t have to ever

Walk the lonely walk of shame

© 2020 greg cain

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