Road cycling has become a very popular sport, especially in Cape Town.
Cyclists are everywhere.
Large groups of them embark on a staggered procession around the most beautiful peninsula every weekend - virtually testing their endurance and capabilities via apps like Strava.
Even average riders are now mounted on overly expensive Bianchi frames with a full Shimano Ultegra group-set, which in all honesty, is a lot of expensive technology for somebody who's never really going to fully benefit from it, but it is part of the culture of cycling.
Cycling is serious - those that do it tend to be very serious about competing and achieving; it's only really fun when you win.
Cycling is however, not bike riding.
Bike riding is joyful and free. It's the closest you'll ever get to the feeling of flying without actually growing your own pair of wings and taking flight. Other than that - there is no real point to it; no objective, no goal.
Bike riding is not about the bike itself, or about what you're wearing or how fast or how good you are; there is no need for judgement of these things.
What it is, is a pure, personal feeling of freedom - and that's what makes it so enjoyable.
Bike riding is fun no matter what happens.
It's not often that see too many adults bike riding in Cape Town.
There are no bragging rights to own, or status levels to defend in the act of simply going out and riding a bike.
For the bike rider though - the joy you feel is yours and yours alone of savour. It's a secret that's impossible to share, you feel like you're winning every single time you do it.
It's very easy to get drawn into a version of a game that everyone else seems to favour, but a version that does very little for you personally, even when what you are putting into it, is a lot.
Competing in an arena where you are receiving little joy from your effort is a sure path towards burnout.
Don't be seduced by the apparent consensus of the collective; design the conditions under which your own participation is sustainable and enjoyable for you, regardless of the judgment of others.
Nobody who's obsessed with competing really gives a f*ck about you in any case, so just do your own thing.