Single Gun Theory

Kids are assholes. Kids are also sensitive and vulnerable, and the two extremes are usually not found together in the one vessel. When you’re a kid, or more specifically a young teenager, being skinny (or conversely, overweight) can be somewhat testing for a developing brain. Processing jibes and deflecting taunts from meatheads and low-rent bullies brandishing such cerebral gems as ‘stick legs’ and ‘bones’ becomes a daily exercise in futility, eventually recognised for being exactly that once maturity takes hold (and school days disappear in the rear-view mirror), thereby flushing (some of) the human detritus from your life. Heck, I wasn’t even a Cyclist during my high school years (but I rode the shit out of bikes every day), which possibly saved me from more targeted and specific lines of insults which the only ‘real’ Cyclist at the school, Alan Masson, would regularly encounter. Even I thought he was a bit of a freak, his tall, lean frame and shaved pins standing out like dog’s balls among the squat, hairy, scarred stumps of the footy crowd as they hunted in packs for their seemingly weaker victims. Little did they really know the skinny freaks would have the last laugh.

Even after joining the strange sub-culture on two wheels, acceptance didn’t come easily. Not from anyone else, but from myself. I was among fellow skinny-legged freaks, a collective of popping veins and nobbly knees, yet pulling on a thin layer of black and pink Lycra (the choices were limited and largely fluoro in the early 90s) still didn’t seem like the best way to fade into the background or go about my business quietly. Luckily, as I was exclusively a mountain biker then, the advent of baggy shorts saved the day not just for me, but every dirt rider who wasn’t an XC racer. The pins were becoming more toned by now, and shaving came onto my radar when I bought my first proper road bike shortly after. That’s when I noticed what I thought made me even more of a freak; my left leg seemed to be bigger than the right. At least, more toned.

One-legged pedalling drills followed, in an attempt to even things up. Calf raises, leg extensions, squats, whatever I did would only serve to keep things uneven, while still barely increasing musculature in both legs. I decided to check out other Cyclists for the same affliction. (Now, to be clear, this is not a massive discrepancy that has small children crying and running away.) I was heartened to find that Single Gun Theory wasn’t just a great Australian 90s electronic/trip hop outfit, but a common occurrence in a good number of Cyclists. Similar to some tennis players having a more developed racquet arm, and golfers an over-developed belief that what they do is ‘sport’, most of us will favour one side of our body for undertaking most common tasks, sometimes alternating different sides for varied exercises. My right arm is stronger and bigger than my left, yet the left gun is the boss downstairs. And I can’t explain it.

It could be any number of physical things that causes SGT, but I’m not too worried, as long as both guns fire, whether one’s an AK47 and the other a starter pistol, it matters not. If the worst that can happen is singing Zappa songs when I’m riding, I’ll take it.

“One of my legs is shorter than the other
‘N’ both my feet’s too long
‘Course now right along with ’em
I got no natural rhythm.”

 

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78 Replies to “Single Gun Theory”

  1. @RobSandy

    Don’t worry, I knew exactly what you meant.

    I don’t play much golf these days, but without a doubt it caused me more mental suffering than any other sport I’ve played.

  2. @Teocalli

    Folk who are good at golf miss out on the observing the natural history of the local flora and fauna surrounding a golf course.

    There’s a good chunk of those we admire and aspire to be or emulate, who also miss out on the observing of the natural history of the local flora and fauna surrounding a race course.

    Keep Calm and look at stem

  3. @Owen

    @Barracuda

    @DeKerr

    …and golfers an over-developed belief that what they do is ‘sport’

    This is keeping a smile on my face for the rest of the day.

    Me also, and they use miniature clown cars to get from one place to another, on grass no less.

    Point of order, while golf is not really physical exercise (I can drink beer while playing and not get kicked out), it does fit at least my definition of sport: objective scoring and governed by clear rules. Some subjectivity is always allowed for things like “did the ball hit the cart path” or “is my club at the bottom of the lake after I threw it” but it’s generally objective.

    By the same logic, something like figure skating is not sport. It is definitely athletic, and takes a lot of skill, but the whole decision of who wins and loses is entirely subjective.

    Also by the same logic, it’s why I don’t like time bonuses in stage races. Just finish with the lowest time and don’t fuck around with tactically losing.

    Following your logic we would have to say that Cyclocross is not a sport if there are beer handups, yet Chess is. (Interestingly enough it is in the sports pages here in Spain.)  Maybe Tim Krabbe can give us a ruling on the second one.

  4. @davidlhill

    @RobSandy

    Don’t worry, I knew exactly what you meant.

    I don’t play much golf these days, but without a doubt it caused me more mental suffering than any other sport I’ve played.

    I’d put cricket in that category, but only because of the realisation that loving a game does not have any effect on how much you totally suck at playing it.

  5. @Skip

    @Owen

    @Barracuda

    @DeKerr

    …and golfers an over-developed belief that what they do is ‘sport’

    This is keeping a smile on my face for the rest of the day.

    Me also, and they use miniature clown cars to get from one place to another, on grass no less.

    Point of order, while golf is not really physical exercise (I can drink beer while playing and not get kicked out), it does fit at least my definition of sport: objective scoring and governed by clear rules. Some subjectivity is always allowed for things like “did the ball hit the cart path” or “is my club at the bottom of the lake after I threw it” but it’s generally objective.

    By the same logic, something like figure skating is not sport. It is definitely athletic, and takes a lot of skill, but the whole decision of who wins and loses is entirely subjective.

    Also by the same logic, it’s why I don’t like time bonuses in stage races. Just finish with the lowest time and don’t fuck around with tactically losing.

    Following your logic we would have to say that Cyclocross is not a sport if there are beer handups, yet Chess is. (Interestingly enough it is in the sports pages here in Spain.) Maybe Tim Krabbe can give us a ruling on the second one.

    Huh? Are handups part of a subjective scoring metric? To win a cross race, finish first without (getting caught) breaking any rules. Don’t take a handup in front of a course official and you’ll be fine. Getting thrown out for head butting in the sprint doesn’t mean things are subjective, just that your last name is probably Cavendish.

    Chess would be an interesting case. It probably falls under the same category as golf. Remember that, using this definition, “sport” doesn’t have to be “athletic,” and “athletic” doesn’t mean “sport.” Competitive ribbon twirling isn’t a sport, yet it has its own Olympic event.

  6. @Owen

    ” Competitive ribbon twirling isn’t a sport, yet it has its own Olympic event.

     

    Genius.

    I’m just glad I introduced a rule ages ago that says – “no drinking when perusing velominati.com. Can cause serious keyboard damage”.

     

  7. @Oli

    Thank you my friend! A writer who spends more time editing and posting press releases (for Spoke) than actually writing unfortunately… one who has a shitload of things to write and fuck all time before going to print!

    My friend Nathan said to me yesterday after I’d missed another ride because I was working, “for the editor of a mountain bike magazine, you don’t ride your mountain bike much!” No shit, I’d advise anyone who thinks a job in the bike media means riding all the time, it doesn’t. Just talking about riding, mainly. Wouldn’t swap it for the world.

  8. wiscot & Puffy – I’m repeatedly shocked at the behavior of these punks who encroach on the field. First of all, we do have a reservation via the university. Secondly, we are allowed on it with our faculty members, who are allowed to bring guests. These kids have no legitimate claim to even use the field. And, they consistently leave garbage, water bottles, gum, band-aids, etc. on the field. And no joke, some of them will sit on the field as we’re playing and put their boots on. While we’re not pros, we’re clearly having a competitive game, with even sides, cones, goals, etc. Just as a sportsmen, I can never, ever imagine being such a dick and infringing on another game. I mean…if you like sports, how could you ever hamper the fun others are having at it?

    And no, I actually wouldn’t mind being present when this kid gets decked in the face. One solid beating as a teen has the potential to save him from being an asshole for life.

    As for kids and parents and teachers. It is awful. I taught kids in various capacities and levels for a number of years. I now no longer teach, though I thought it would be my career. I don’t really miss it, which is sad. I enjoy teaching, but now you’re more a cop than an instructor. Two quick stories to illustrate:

    – I was running after school at a small private school. Some were 8-10 years, some were 10-12. Raining, so we decide to stay in an watch a movie. 8-10 year olds choose a movie, a few 10-12 come in. The ringleader was only 12 but I say in all honesty, already a total asshole. She puts on some movie far too “adult” for the 8-10s, but I know she is trouble, so I let it go. Then the movie gets way too adult for the younger ones. The ringleader had already lost interest and upped to leave. I told her thanks for putting on a stupid movie. “What, did you just call me stupid?!!! They all heard it!” They heard me call the movie stupid. She told the headmaster, headmaster asked ME to write a letter explaining what I had done, clearly didn’t take my word for it. I rarely got calls to work there after that.

    Icing on the cake – I heard a year later that the students and their parents were running things to such a degree that a big crisis happened and half the teachers were fired/left. All because they let a pack of 12 year old girls run things. Insane! The student I had the run-in with was at the forefront of the entire fiasco.

    – Working as a teaching assistant at a major university. Professor asked us to keep an eye on class during 150 student lectures. Student comes in 1/2 through a lecture, sits right next to me, then proceeds to text and IM away. I calmly ask her to pay attention. Her reply: “Who the fuck are you? You can’t tell me what to do!” She then put her middle finger in my face, inches from my nose. After class I asked her if she cared to speak with the professor. “Fuck you, get a fuck life, you loser.” She walked out, I told the professor and she tried to kick her out of the class. But, her parents threatened to sue the dept. and me, chair relented, forced me to accept her “apology” like 8 weeks after it all went down. I told him I didn’t want to, but I feared losing my funding as a grad student. That one situation illustrated to me how kids now run schools and parents enable them to be fucking assholes. I mean…I was a fully-funded teaching assistant being decently paid, and employed, by the STATE. Taxpayer money…so I can get told to fuck myself by a 19 year old student!

    One awesome part: my mother happened to work at the university and had access to files. She looked up the student. She’d spent two YEARS at another uni…and transferred in with ZERO credits. Two years and never completed a single course. My god.

    Anyway, I’m in my mid-30s and can’t believe what teaching has become since I began, in my 20s. I also really, really cannot believe how many young folks have absolutely zero respect for others, or adults. It’s almost just plain bizarre. But, you look at some “parents” and realize why.

    I have said that the biggest disappointment of growing up is that some people just grow older, but never grow up. (I’m a kid at heart, and I think that is great – who isn’t when we ride bikes all day! – but damn, the moms who dress like a teenager with things written on their asses? The dads obsessed with white teeth, tans and biceps. So odd.)

  9. Argh, sorry about the shocking length of that. Back to cycling. Yes, strong work, Brett! Sadly, teenage bullies seem to be universal.

     

     

  10. @Ron

    Oops don’t know what happened there.

    Anyway I’m right with you on all that (but way older).  Though your end bit did crack me up re…”obsessed with white teeth, tans and biceps” in a thread that started with a study on Guns and also with respect to Rule #7.

  11. @Oli

    PS You’re no slouch with the pen either… we need to see you back in the pages, and you’re well overdue for a Guest Article here.

  12. @RobSandy

    @davidlhill

    @wilburrox

    There is no suffering involved.

    No suffering involved?!?!?!?!? You’ve ripped a drive down the middle. 150 yards left to the pin. You pick up a 7 iron, your trusty 7 iron. You visualise the shot you’re about to play, no wind. And shank it, a grub shot, 30 yards right into rough.

    No suffering?!?!?

    That’s not suffering. That’s just incompetence.

    “No amount of suffering can compensate for your stupidness.” – Paul Köchli, La Vie Claire

  13. @Owen

    Getting thrown out for head butting in the sprint doesn’t mean things are subjective, just that your last name is probably Cavendish.

    McEwan??

     

  14. @Puffy

    @Owen

    Getting thrown out for head butting in the sprint doesn’t mean things are subjective, just that your last name is probably Cavendish.

    McEwan??

    Or O’Grady!

  15. @frank

    @Puffy

    @Owen

    Getting thrown out for head butting in the sprint doesn’t mean things are subjective, just that your last name is probably Cavendish.

    McEwan??

    Or O’Grady!

    Get to ride with Mr O’Grady early next month for a fundraiser down here.  Should be an interesting ride.

  16. @Barracuda

    Get to ride with Mr O’Grady early next month for a fundraiser down here. Should be an interesting ride.

    I would have done that ride had I not lived so far away. Last I heard the uptake wasn’t as good as he/they had hoped. I think he’s still living down the “you’re a cheating lying bastard” tag. He just about got boo-ed off the The Bike Lane episode he was in. Some say immersing yourself in charity work is a good way to realign the public’s view of you from cheating bad guy, to charity helping good guy.

  17. @Puffy

    @Barracuda

    Get to ride with Mr O’Grady early next month for a fundraiser down here. Should be an interesting ride.

    I would have done that ride had I not lived so far away. Last I heard the uptake wasn’t as good as he/they had hoped. I think he’s still living down the “you’re a cheating lying bastard” tag. He just about got boo-ed off the The Bike Lane episode he was in. Some say immersing yourself in charity work is a good way to realign the public’s view of you from cheating bad guy, to charity helping good guy.

    Im assuming he has more than one ride on.  This particular ride is at Victor Harbor/Goolwa with Pat Jonker

  18. @Barracuda

    @frank

    Get to ride with Mr O’Grady early next month for a fundraiser down here. Should be an interesting ride.

    Oh, can you pass on a message to him please? You can fill out the body of it, but it needs to contain the words ‘lying’ and ‘cunt’. Maybe ask him if he thinks you’re stupid…

  19. @emerson

    @RobSandy

    @davidlhill

    @wilburrox

    There is no suffering involved.

    No suffering involved?!?!?!?!? You’ve ripped a drive down the middle. 150 yards left to the pin. You pick up a 7 iron, your trusty 7 iron. You visualise the shot you’re about to play, no wind. And shank it, a grub shot, 30 yards right into rough.

    No suffering?!?!?

    That’s not suffering. That’s just incompetence.

    “No amount of suffering can compensate for your stupidness.” – Paul Köchli, La Vie Claire

    yet again a comment that proves beyond doubt this forum is without peers in the cyber world.

    Superb.

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