Internet Chatter – Bikes and Other Fun Among Crazy Birds

Happy New Lunar Year of the Tiger!

As a blogger or Internet forum participant, it helps to remember your life, ego and beliefs should not bank solely on the  Internet.

So don’t believe the above  painting of Chinese ladies in flowing silk robes, on mountain bikes.  Not real. The bicycle didn’t get invented until the 1800’s in Germany.  Leonardo da Vinci sketched out the prototype 2 centuries before.  Common fat wheel cycling wasn’t until 20th century. sideracers

Cycling sculpture on Olympic Museum grounds. Ouchy, Switzerland. Near Lausanne. Photo by L.  Gray. This wk. coincides with start of 2022 Winter Olympics, Beijing.

High class women romantically painted, did exist and bikes do exist –separately.  We just have to know our realities.  Same for participating online in sometimes the faceless Internet.

Internet Shenanigans in a Cycling Forum
If we already have good, real face-to-face relationships with friends and family who we care and trust, then Internet commenters on one’s own blog and Internet forum chatter, can be  featherlight. Like a bunch of birds twittering, sometimes screeching in a forest. 😀

Wetlands Mar 2020 birdalligatorForum members are well-behaved –unless someone is in a snappy mood. Florida wetlands. Photo by forum member, L Gray. In addition to cycling, he is a photographer. His book for visitors on Central Florida.

An Internet forum is a place to sit on a twig and listen. Chirp a bit and occasionally, sing praise or raise a flapping ruckus.

For past decade, and even earlier in fits, I’ve hung about in an international cycling forum. More like a place for American cycling birds. As one of the rare Canadian members, this is not important except when chatter bleeds into politics which over the years, is carefully controlled –with intent to reduce messiness to almost hygienic unreality at times.  I like learning as long as perpetual chaos doesn’t dominate public discourse. It’s part of being human.

And we can learn bits from one another –both fun and serious crumbs from life.

orange tree2Satsuma Mandarin tree in California forum member’s  backyard. A former firefighter, hippie with  Buddhist quotes and love of horticulture and botany. 

True, there’s swapping of jokes, often hilarious, on rare occasion, scantological or bordering on risqué. After all, this forum has more male than female participants –so far. Maybe this accounts a tad more verbal horseplay at one another –something I seldom saw, when participating in another international forum for only women cyclists for a decade, before it died.

Shine Beyond Cycling –and Age
While there is a running online tally for forum members to voluntarily report their cycling, walking, or running mileage, fitness and health, there’s much more to life than numbers. And more than our age range which vaguely is from 40’s and up.

BBQ2 chicken wingsHome food photos posted by forum members–  BBQ chicken wings glazed with habanero plum jam. Courtesy of cycling forum member, Virginia.

Over time, online hijinks included: food, both snapshots of  homemade and restaurant creations, random highlights of work, Wordle or in family (ie. a pesky relative), in cycling or with a friend.

 Weather phenomena in our world corners, is an easy topic   –including a real newsflash from a forum resident when the meteorite exploded over Pennsylvania on New Year’s Eve just before 2022.  Resident member thought fireworks were shaking his house, while he was  chatting online with us.  ‘Course there are vacation trip comments — locally or somewhere else in the world.

From Everywhere:  All Walks of Life looping fireflies
I’m not sure there is a typical profile for a cyclist or former cyclist:  there’s  a pilot who drops occasional photos on us, where he flies internationally  for his wealthy clients.  He cycles and has bikes at his Ontario home, but probably little time now, to squeeze in enjoyable rides during tight work schedules.

Greenlit rare fireflies near forum member’s home. Georgia                                                            

montana lambs2Lambs at forum member’s farm. Montana.

Or a Vancouver Island forum member who bikes to work, then scuba dives for his job.

2Pomelo fruit in backyard. California. Like a fragrant grapefruit with thick rind, but not tart and lovely.  Very popular with Asians for centuries. cutpomelo2

Clearly us dullards, are stuck in our work / office cubicles and have been for last few decades. Or have actually worked in bike shops or building wheels for others  at home base.  Meanwhile, others are working on goat / sheep farm, in information technology, security, engineering, or work with frail elderly,  disabled  in health care places.

ghostranchOn the way to Ghost Ranch, home of painter, Georgia O’Keefe. New Mexico 2004. Photo by J.Chong

Then, there are some who are fans of vintage cars, model cars, piano-playing, book writing, woman shed-building or figure skating, are trainers and lovers of dogs and cats.  However we all too, try to bike, walk, run, hike, ski, kayak or motorcycle race, somehow, somewhere outside of work.

jctentrocksPost-forum member visit:  Kasha-Kathwe Tent Rocks National Monument. Pueblo de Cochiti, New Mexico. 2004

Some members have met up in person, across state lines and occasionally across U.S.-Canada borders and cycled a piece together. Through a fleeting ride or meet-up, it is refreshing to chat with the Internet avatar…in flesh for a coffee or meal.

So far, I’ve met a former English high school teacher who biked regularily to work, when Jack and I were in New Mexico  –a place I still have not known other Canadians to visit yet.

Surprise Care Gifts from Internet Oblivion
I’ve lost track when this started.  There are occasional surprise gifts from forum

nestcard2From Little Canada (a real place), Minnesota to big Canada.

member(s) to another to celebrate or cheer up a sick / injured or sad member.  Often the astonished recipient  posts a photo of the happy care gift — a local soup order, nut spread, cookies or packaged treats, a symbolic letter opener, scarf, socks or a memento emblematic of the person’s passion.

I received a comfy real watercolour painting of a bird nest.  I later, sent off warm Canadian patriotic sock wishes.   Recently there has been a rash of fun sloth animal mementos:  Christmas decorations, coffee mug decoration…in deference to our lazy selves off the bike or activity.


We have lost so far now, 4 members to death, with the latest shortly after 2022 start, where a funnybones member who once cycled the Southern Bike route  across the U.S., with his 2 dogs, suddenly succumbed to covid, earlier this year.  This is our first known covid death in this forum. hank2dogs

Forgive me, for this wandering reflection about an Internet chat forum.  It’s like a group of tiny stars drifting slowly and loosely together, through a twinkling galaxy flung across the deep night sky: there are so many voices out there.

Hope you make a good positive voice in lightness. You count more in the constellation of voices —  more than you could ever dream.


Sanderling birds freewheeling by the beach, just like cyclists having fun. Florida. By L. Gray. 

26 Comments Add yours

  1. Pit says:

    What an interesting meeting place such an internet forum can be! I had no idea. Thanks for enlightening me with that great article, Jean. 🙂 I relly like that sculpture of the cyclists, Thanks for sharing.
    Stay healthy,

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Jean says:

      Well, sometimes it can be tiptoeing through the tulips occasionally. For sure, one learns how other people might think/or appear to think. Tricky. So it means dropping by over time to see virtual behavioural patterns in a forum. Your blog and commenters acts as your community, Pit. That’s great!

      Liked by 2 people

        1. BuffJim says:

          Nice job Jean, I stumbled across this group 15 years ago before we migrated to the current forum. It has added enjoyment and friendship to my life, even amid the occasional dust ups.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. Jean says:

            I was in LF, then I dropped out for a few yrs. So I’ve lost track beyond this past decade hanging around in forum . At least, people chat in sentences, instead of tweet codes / phrases which may cause even more expressive dialogue (ie. RG’s provocative headlines, etc.)

            Liked by 1 person

  2. Tons of cyclists out here in Southern California. Majority white male, but I see Asian Americans and Latinx cyclists, too. Maybe 1/5 cyclists are women. Question for a cyclist from a pedestrian who has nearly been run over multiple times in the crosswalk: Why do most cyclists ignore stop signs?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Jean says:

      I don’t know the law in California. Some jurisdictions allow cyclists for a rolling stop..if the intersection has very little traffic or no traffic, they cycle through. If not, yes, I agree to stop at stop signs before proceeding. I noticed you didn’t say black /Afro-American or South Asian they would be a real minority there (like in many other big cities …still).


      1. I think I’ve seen two Black Americans decked out in serious cycling gear in all the years I’ve been here. I’ve definitely seen more Southeast Asian cyclists, though they aren’t nearly as numerous as the Korean American and Japanese American cyclists.

        The governor of CA vetoed a bill last year that would have allowed cyclists to treat stop signs as “yield” signs, in the interests of public safety. Apparently electric bikes were included in the bill, which was a sticking point. So cyclists have always been required to stop, but I think I’ve seen exactly one obey that particular traffic law. (Same thing for red lights.)

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Jean says:

          E-bikes brings up another different slippery twist!

          Well kudos to you if can distinguish visually difference between Americans of Korean vs. Japanese descent. Some folks from northern China look “similar”. 😀 Now, if I won’t start laughing at this peculiar dialogue (to me).

          Liked by 1 person

  3. kegarland says:

    Very nice reflection, Jean 💜 the cycling group sounds quite diverse.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Jean says:

      Diverse in lifestyles. But not in demographic…primarily Caucasian and few people with mixed families. We did have 1 black member who folks liked and he participated for awhile. But he drifted away ages ago. Yes, the chat has touched on race/racism occasionally.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. kegarland says:

        Yeah, I was thinking it was racially diverse lol, but rather, lifestyle.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Jane Fritz says:

    Some beautiful pictures, especially the one in Conchiti country in New Mexico.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Jean says:

      New Mexico offers alot to see. I recommend it highly, Jane.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Jane Fritz says:

        We’ve been to many parts of that beautiful State, but not that area.

        Liked by 2 people

  5. Alicia J says:

    Good job. I hope you get many members and followers. Stay safe and keep cycling.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Jean says:

      Great seeing you. May your wheels take you into more enjoyable adventures!


  6. Todd says:

    That site is out of control!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jean says:

      Hopefully intelligently out-of-control.There is a logic to madness. Hope things are well.


  7. Sue Slaght says:

    Your post makes me think about how many people I have met I’m person or virtually through the blog. So many life stories going on.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jean says:

      Maybe one day for us to meet, Sue ….:D

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sue Slaght says:

        I would like that Jean.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Jean says:

          We’ll plan something when it’s warmer. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

Chime in with your thoughts here!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s