A Cyclist Reborn

For as long as I can remember, I have loved riding my bike. 

Although my love for turning pedals and spinning wheels grew out of the simple exploratory, mediatory, and social aspects of cycling, there came a time when I found myself, like so many innocent seekers of freedom come before me, lost in the Sisyphean struggle that is competitive road racing. The euphoric joys of bike riding were commandeered by the robotic nature of racing’s training blocks, intervals, spreadsheets, thresholds, and heartrate zones. Riding in search of answers to the questions of what might lie at the end of that unexplored road, or where that trail may lead and if it’s even ridable, pursued with the hope of expanding the borders of my world, morphed into training rides, completed with only the hope of winning in mind, and thus my enthusiasm for cycling decayed. 

Recently, my cycling roots have undergone quite the resurgence. 

Flannel is opening my eyes.

To me, riding in flannel is symbolic of the lighter side of cycling. It is the unofficial team kit for those who are tired of the rigorous cultural norms of mainstream road cycling.

When you’re rocking your flannel kit, there are no rules. There is no one telling you how high your socks should be, or how to match your saddle with your handlebars. Those things take away from the simple beauty of riding a bike. High socks and color coordinated cockpits are all about maintaining an image on the bike path. Team flannel is all about breaking free, getting out, and going beyond.

So grab your road bike, your mountain bike, your cross bike, or your hybrid bike. Grab your bastardized, drop bar, fat tire, fully rigid, burrito grabbing, bar hopping, curb stomping, Frankenstein machine. Grab WHATEVER two wheeled, pedal driven freedom manufacturing device has you pumped on riding bikes, and come get rowdy with me and my friends while we make some of Placer County’s finest roads our own.

Todd Stone

Chris Stastny