You Say You Want A Resolution

Hokey as it may be, the beginning of a new year is an opportunity for change and self-improvement, so I’m pleased to announce that this year I’ve resolved to learn how to ride a bike with flat pedals:

More specifically, I’m going to learn how to ride an all-terrain bicycle with flat pedals:

My immediate reason for this is that I think my aging body is finally beginning to revolt against using clipless pedals in a mountain bike scenario, and I suspect my musculoskeletal system will benefit from the combination of a wide platform and the ability for my feet to automatically find their most natural position. (Apart from being perched on an ottoman while I watch TV, obviously.)

More philosophically, however, I’m saddened by the fact that over-reliance on clipless pedals has made me an even poorer cyclist than I might have been otherwise had my feet remained unfettered. See this fresh-faced youngster?

[Photo: Danny Weiss]

He had no problem bunny-hopping at least as high as his tube socks.

But see this old doofus who looks like he’s about to fall over?

He can’t even get over a damn log without having his feet attached to his bike–and while said bike probably weighs at least four times as much as that Haro FST (not to mention the considerable mass the rider himself has accrued), it’s still sad. So it’s about time I listened to my own advice and got back to basics:

Fortunately, this should be easy, since the older I get the more of a “woosie” I become, meaning that with each passing day I’m less likely to encounter the sort of terrain that would challenge my ability to ride it without foot retention in the first place.

Speaking of resolutions, apparently people drop theirs pretty quick:

By Jan. 17—or quitter’s day, as it’s known at Strava Inc.’s San Francisco headquarters—the company expects traffic to drop dramatically, as inertia defeats another year’s crop of aspiring cyclists and distance runners.

Though Strava is now profitable:

Horvath says the company was profitable in 2020 and 2021. Such financial success has been long in coming. The company—which Horvath founded in 2009 with Mark Gainey, a teammate from Harvard’s lightweight crew squad in the late 1980s—grew at a plodding pace in its early years, focusing on generating revenue through paid subscriptions, rather than by selling advertisements. “Back in 2010 and 2011, if you couldn’t get to a billion people in three years with an ad model, you weren’t worth investing in,” Horvath says. But the success of Netflix, Spotify, and Zoom have put subscription businesses back in favor. Last year, Strava raised $110 million in a round led by Sequoia Capital and TCV.

Which means an IFO (Initial Fred Offering) could be coming soon–though statistically I’ll be back on clipless in a matter of days.

Whatever, I don’t typically do very well with resolutions anyway.

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