Monday, November 23, 2009

The race in their head

Bike racers have a reputation for being hyper competitive a-holes. The funny thing is that bike racers have nothing on many recreational cyclists who insist that every encounter with a fellow road rider is akin to a 19th Century duel on a dusty road.

A friend of mine told me that he recently witnessed a guy ride himself into a ditch (literally) while trying to maintain a gap on said friend while going up a hill out of the Chagrin River Valley. Friend was just riding his own mellow pace, while Ditch Guy thought he was doing battle up The Ventoux on stage 17 of the Tour. Then he crashed into the ditch on the side of the road because he was riding so hard.

Just last week I was riding easily in the valley when some guy in a gaudy jersey passed me with great fanfare and gusto, then nearly killed himself to maintain his small gap on me. I was content to let him have his fun, until he executed an unnecessarily dangerous maneuver in a country intersection while running a red light. Then I made a point to pass him on the hill while making casual conversation over his loud and uncontrolled breathing. Yes, I am a jerk, but he deserved it.

A few months ago, I passed a guy while riding moderately mellow uphill and said hello. He immediately started making a litany of excuses about his bike compared to mine, even though his bike was lighter and comparable in price. Um, sorry man, I didn't know we were racing.

These guys need to pin on a number and go do a few Citizen bike races this spring to let off some steam.

Just watch out for that ditch.

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