How the fuck do you deal with this guy?

Vetting The Fred

Vetting The Fred

by / / 108 posts

I don’t mean to sound bitter, cold, or cruel, but I am, so that’s how it comes out.

– Bill Hicks

That famous quote from the Greatest Comedian Of All Timeâ„¢ has resonated with me for many years. It became my silent mantra, as I don’t suffer fools gladly and sometimes don’t make much effort to conceal the fact. Lately, I’ve been trying harder to be more accepting of those who seem sent to test me, to try my patience, to see how far I need to be pushed before reaching breaking point and just coming out with an expletive-laden rant (or more likely just two words that have the same impact with much less output). But you know what? Fuck that.

When it comes to the riding group, the same principles apply: it doesn’t matter if our abilities are the same, because if I have to sit next to you and make mind-numbing, inane small talk for more than five minutes… well, this ain’t gonna work. Now, our tight-knit bunch has been refined over the nearly eight years I’ve been living in my adopted home city. There are some who drift in and out, but they are still a part of the group. Even if we don’t see them for months or years, they will easily slip back into the fold like a well-lubed sex doll (and if they find that kind of talk offensive, they’re slipping right out again). Sometimes, new recruits are either invited along or somehow just appear unannounced, possibly thinking that this is some kind of weird love-in where all are welcomed with an awkward hug and a patronising smile. We’re not the fucking church, ok?

So, what to do if this guy turns up? He’s been invited, so that’s ok, not his fault. You give him the once over, and alarm bells begin to ring: tri bike replete with aero bars, no socks, jogging shoes (combined with clipless pedals), a peaked helmet and board shorts over hairy legs. Well, you give him the benefit of the doubt, and introduce yourself. You afford him a chance, even as the sirens and flashing lights in your head are rapidly materialising into an angry migraine. Maybe he’ll break the ice with a fart joke or possess a stroke of such magnificent souplesse that he drops your ass on the first hill and you quickly disregard the myriad Rule violations. Who’s not to say that this day he just forgot all his riding gear, his real bike is in the shop getting a new Gruppo fitted, and he’s been on a week-long binge of hookers and blow and hasn’t had the time, inclination or requisite brain function to shave the ol’ guns. Reasonable excuses, one would think.

If it turns out that yeah, he can hang, but no, he doesn’t possess any bunch etiquette, but yes, he’s a decent chap, although no, he may not own an appropriate bike or cleated shoes and he’s not likely to shave/lose the visor/boardies of his own accord, yet hints at a similarly warped sense of humour and at least a couple of vices. A perplexing dilemma that gnaws away at you for the next week, until ride time rolls around again. What do I do? What do we do?

What would you do? Tolerate, integrate or expatriate?

// Rantings from the V-Bunker

  1. @Teocalli Nicely executed!

    A few years ago I built up my old steel steed with old Super Record using the classic Mavic/Simplex DT shifters. Recall a comment from a carbon rider as we’re working turns, “Down tube shifters! My grandfather has those!”. Might just put it back together again. (TT needs replacing)




    0
  2. @ChrisO

    There are different acts of Fred and I think they have to be treated accordingly.

    Unsafe Fredness – overlapping, bad lines, not making or passing calls etc – should be corrected by the group, and if the Fred persists then drop him or tell him he’s not welcome.

    Annoying Fredness – surging, half-wheeling, leaving gaps – should be led by example, or a quiet word once you’ve got to know them but otherwise tolerated with a sigh.

    Embarrassing Fredness – hairy legs, baggy shorts or the other extreme of top-to-toe pro kit on a week-old Dogma as your first bike – are just not worth worrying about.

    I tend to think people find groups that suit them so they’ll either stay and fit in, in which case you see past the exterior, or they go elsewhere with other Team Sky wannabes.

    The other dimension is the actual ride. I do a group ride most Saturdays which is run by the shop that sponsors our team. It’s an open ride and I offer helpful advice if warranted or asked, ride at the group pace and put any disdain on hold. They’ve got as much right to be there as I have.

    On the other hand if I go for a ride with a more select group expecting to do a certain type of ride and someone turns up who doesn’t fit in a way which disrupts us, I would have no qualms about dropping them and making it clear they probably should have found something else to do.

    This is pretty much along the lines of my thinking.

    The way I see it, Rule #2, and Rule #3 are always being worked out in some fashion. How they are being applied to the different Fred’s of the world, are based more so on the Fred, than what the Fred is wearing and riding.




    0
  3. Fast fred > slow pose




    0
  4. @Walt

    @Owen so is the YJA any yellow riding jacket? I’m new to the sport and picked one up because the mornings are dark and dropping to the low 40s. Us newbies don’t know any better. Thanks

    I don’t think so. I have a fleece-lined yellow PI jacket for winter commutes — adds visibility on cold and dark mornings when people may not have had their coffee yet. I think what constitutes a YJA, at my understanding from hanging around here, is one of those billowy jobs that’s in such a shade of yellow as to render one blind from looking at it for too long.

    As a newbie (and we’ve all been newbies at some point) submit to Rules #2 and #3, and observe Rule #43 and everything else will be gravy.




    0
  5. @brett

    I’m (genuinely) wondering why the lead photo was labelled “how the fuck do you deal with this guy?” instead of “how would you deal with this guy?”

    I guess that’s what coloured some responses?

    David




    0
  6. @davidlhill

    @brett

    I’m (genuinely) wondering why the lead photo was labelled “how the fuck do you deal with this guy?” instead of “how would you deal with this guy?”

    I guess that’s what coloured some responses?

    David

    It occurs to me that the person in question appears to resemble a certain cantankerous Texan. Maybe that’s part of it?




    0
  7. @davidlhill

    @brett

    I’m (genuinely) wondering why the lead photo was labelled “how the fuck do you deal with this guy?” instead of “how would you deal with this guy?”

    I guess that’s what coloured some responses?

    David

    Probably because said subject of photo undoubtedly used the four-letter word in his conversations with people he didn’t much care for!




    0
  8. @Owen thanks, mines a canary yellow as opposed to fluorescent




    0
  9. As soon as they show themselves to be unsafe in the pace line, they are jettisoned and disinvited from returning.




    0
  10. @wiscot

    @davidlhill

    @brett

    I’m (genuinely) wondering why the lead photo was labelled “how the fuck do you deal with this guy?” instead of “how would you deal with this guy?”

    I guess that’s what coloured some responses?

    David

    Probably because said subject of photo undoubtedly used the four-letter word in his conversations with people he didn’t much care for!

    You meant “……uses it in conversation.” right?




    0
  11. @The Grande Fondue

    Rule #2. Rule #3. Close the thread.

    You know, I had to click on those to be reminded what they were! Maybe that says something about the spirit that The Rules (and this post) were written in, and should be held with.




    0
  12. For me, anytime I meet someone who rides bikes (not necessarily a cyclist &, as we all know, there is a difference) I will find out their mobile number or email & send them a link to The Rules. This link comes with the admonition, “You’ve got to check this out…” It is my opinion that everyone who throws a leg over a top tube should read them. Whether they choose to heed them & shape up or not is on them. As a wise man once said, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make them drink.”




    0
  13. @brett

    @The Grande Fondue

    Rule #2. Rule #3. Close the thread.

    You know, I had to click on those to be reminded what they were! Maybe that says something about the spirit that The Rules (and this post) were written in, and should be held with.

    I think it’s interesting that the thread rapidly reached the same recommendations as the Rules, without needing to reference them. It’s like they are divinely ordained, or part of human nature (or everyone is smoking the same thing). Something, anyway.




    0
  14. @wiscot

    @davidlhill

    @brett

    I’m (genuinely) wondering why the lead photo was labelled “how the fuck do you deal with this guy?” instead of “how would you deal with this guy?”

    I guess that’s what coloured some responses?

    David

    Probably because said subject of photo undoubtedly used the four-letter word in his conversations with people he didn’t much care for!

    Did he? I got the impression @Brett enjoyed, on the whole, talking to Fred as he’s a decent chap hinting at a similar warped sense of humour (which means the Fred, should he stumble, or be pushed towards, across this site, would be a perfect addition!).

    Rule #2 & 3 cover it, basically.

    David




    0
  15. @davidlhill

    @wiscot

    @davidlhill

    @brett

    I’m (genuinely) wondering why the lead photo was labelled “how the fuck do you deal with this guy?” instead of “how would you deal with this guy?”

    I guess that’s what coloured some responses?

    David

    Probably because said subject of photo undoubtedly used the four-letter word in his conversations with people he didn’t much care for!

    Did he? I got the impression @Brett enjoyed, on the whole, talking to Fred as he’s a decent chap hinting at a similar warped sense of humour (which means the Fred, should he stumble, or be pushed towards, across this site, would be a perfect addition!).

    Rule #2 & 3 cover it, basically.

    David

    Mind you the build of the guy reminds me of the schoolboy joke:

    Q: What do you call a 9 foot Gorilla with a machine gun?

    A: Anything he darned well wants!




    0
  16. @davidlhill

    @Teocalli

    The guy in the article is not the guy in the lead photo. That’s Gunderson.




    0
  17. @antihero

    This conversation is embarrassing. Seriously.

    Stop yapping and go ride your bikes. If someone’s not following the rules, then you sure as hell had better ride them right the fuck off of your wheel before you cast the slightest bit of judgement. And even then, you’re probably wrong.

    I follow to rules, because I have seen and love the path. I could give a fuck what anyone else does as long as they obey Rule V.

    Exactly.




    0
  18. @therealpeel

    @antihero

    Stop yapping and go ride your bikes.

    Exactly.

    True but mostly I’m supposed to be at work and this is less obvious than riding the bike round the office.




    0
  19. @Teocalli

    @therealpeel

    @antihero

    Stop yapping and go ride your bikes.

    Exactly.

    True but mostly I’m supposed to be at work and this is less obvious than riding the bike round the office.

    Damn, beat me to it. I’d like nothing better than to go and ride my bike right now, but my boss might have an issue with me doing so . . .




    0
  20. About 2 years ago we had a chap turn up for a club ride on a hybrid bike and wanted to go out with the so called fast group. We secretly sniggered and averaged the 65km route at 35kph, did we drop him, did we hell! A few weeks later he turned up on a Caad 8 and destroyed us – he became a regular and is a top chap, he’s confident in his ability and in his words ‘don’t fall for the marketing bull, it’s 95% about the engine’ and I’ve seen enough to believe him. It’s the old don’t judge a book by its’ cover I suppose…




    0
  21. By a remarkable coincidence today we had a guy turn up for the Sunday ride also on a CAAD8. Never seen him before, loosely fitting helmet, short sleeved top, long leggings. But, you know, give the guy a chance. Told him we would be doing 85-90 miles and was he sure he was OK with that? If we dropped him, we wouldn’t be waiting, etc etc. He said he was OK with it. So we got to about 40 miles and he was obviously hanging on by his fingertips (seeing his head hanging over at 45 degrees is always a clue) and not that experienced at group riding as he wasn’t making the most of sitting in. At this point a car did a stupid manouevre in front of us and because he was exhausted, his concentration and coordination had pretty much gone. He grabbed hold of a massive handful of front brake and went over the handlebars and hurt some fingers and an elbow (and got a good shot of adrenaline and shock). Fortunately, everyone else was unscathed. So whilst we felt sorry for him, a bit, the point is that if you don’t know these ‘randomers’ they are potentially hazards as well as future heroes. He got to the next town and took the train home. I don’t expect we’ll be seeing him again.




    0
  22. It’s unlikely ‘that’ guy would be turning up to a bunch ride anyway, so does that make this whole discussion a moot point? However, if he did turn up, I would be expecting him to do a shit load of work on the front (given there’s no drafting at triathlon), not complain, and have a pretty good knowledge of the rules. No one turns up to a bunch ride in TT gear, and triathletes generally train alone unless they are on junk mile rides




    0
  23. do you need sex lube, and fart jokes to be your way of vetting someone, I fucking hate this quallity in most Straight men, the whole fart,shit,dick,pussy, comedy bit is a little old,




    0
  24. @anthony

    do you need sex lube, and fart jokes to be your way of vetting someone, I fucking hate this quallity in most Straight men, the whole fart,shit,dick,pussy, comedy bit is a little old,

    He’s in New Zealand.

    Anyone more advanced moves to Australia.

    Brett went the other way.




    0
  25. @anthony

    do you need sex lube, and fart jokes to be your way of vetting someone

    No, but it helps.

    I fucking hate this quallity in most Straight men

    Gay jokes more your thing? Not that there’s anything right with that…

    the whole fart,shit,dick,pussy, comedy bit is a little old

    So am I. Old enough to recognise narrative license and sarcasm, at least.




    0
  26. @edster99

    By a remarkable coincidence today we had a guy turn up for the Sunday ride also on a CAAD8. Never seen him before, loosely fitting helmet, short sleeved top, long leggings. But, you know, give the guy a chance. Told him we would be doing 85-90 miles and was he sure he was OK with that? If we dropped him, we wouldn’t be waiting, etc etc. He said he was OK with it. So we got to about 40 miles and he was obviously hanging on by his fingertips (seeing his head hanging over at 45 degrees is always a clue) and not that experienced at group riding as he wasn’t making the most of sitting in. At this point a car did a stupid manouevre in front of us and because he was exhausted, his concentration and coordination had pretty much gone. He grabbed hold of a massive handful of front brake and went over the handlebars and hurt some fingers and an elbow (and got a good shot of adrenaline and shock). Fortunately, everyone else was unscathed. So whilst we felt sorry for him, a bit, the point is that if you don’t know these ‘randomers’ they are potentially hazards as well as future heroes. He got to the next town and took the train home. I don’t expect we’ll be seeing him again.

    Sorry, I don’t understand the point of your post. He hurt himself (and thankfully none of your group) caught the train home and you are happy that someone who was game enough to put themselves out there, gave your bunch ride a crack, won’t be coming back? If I have the general gist correct, that’s one tough group.




    0
  27. @girl It does come across as a bit harsh I agree, but I think I get the idea.

    Apart from the sheer luck that he hurt only himself, and not too badly, it’s a problem that some people think they can turn up and run with the big dogs.

    In most sports you have a fairly well-defined structure which moves you up according to your experience and talent – you don’t just rock up and join a grade cricket squad or the first XV of the local rugby side in their training session. Yet one can find a club and join a ride which may have riders at a level far above one’s own ability.

    I think many of us are conflicted between appreciation for someone who gives it their best shot and has a go, against annoyance that we may have to compromise because they were either too macho or too stupid to recognise they should have started at a lower level.

    In the case edster99 describes OK the guy got the train back, but presumably the group had to stop and wait, make sure he was OK, that he could get to the station and so on, plus the element that he could have hurt any of them had the accident been different.

    It’s a fine line between tolerance for trying and annoyance for intruding.




    0
  28. @ChrisO @girl I think the fact that someone is prepared to hook up for a 130-150 Km (80-95 mile) ride on the fly is either going to end well or very badly. Clearly we don’t know the full scenario but I’d have thought a few questions around weekly mileage, typical ride length, ride time etc may have sorted it and avoided a lot of angst all round.

    I think also it’s easy to ignore the concertina effect in an emergency in a group. Just the other week I was out with two regular mates. Fortunately as it turned out we were not hammering it, I was leading and as we came round a tight bend in a narrow road with high hedgerows I espied yon horse. It was already starting to turn and shy as I came round the bend so I called horse to the others and braked firmly, mate 1 a split second later slammed on his brakes to avoid me and laid down 50 miles worth or rubber on the road, mate 2 being another split second later was doomed. In-off mate 1 and over the bars. Fortunately only superficial grazing.




    0
  29. @ChrisO

    It’s a fine line between tolerance for trying and annoyance for intruding.

    When there is too much funny business going on in a group ride I’ll drop off the back and go for a different route — and might recruit a few others to defect with me. The goal is to enjoy a good route with a good experience and good workout.




    0
  30. @Teocalli

    @ChrisO @girl I think the fact that someone is prepared to hook up for a 130-150 Km (80-95 mile) ride on the fly is either going to end well or very badly. Clearly we don’t know the full scenario but I’d have thought a few questions around weekly mileage, typical ride length, ride time etc may have sorted it and avoided a lot of angst all round.

    I think also it’s easy to ignore the concertina effect in an emergency in a group. Just the other week I was out with two regular mates. Fortunately as it turned out we were not hammering it, I was leading and as we came round a tight bend in a narrow road with high hedgerows I espied yon horse. It was already starting to turn and shy as I came round the bend so I called horse to the others and braked firmly, mate 1 a split second later slammed on his brakes to avoid me and laid down 50 miles worth or rubber on the road, mate 2 being another split second later was doomed. In-off mate 1 and over the bars. Fortunately only superficial grazing.

    Assume you’re talking about your mate’s condition after hitting the road, not the action of the horse…




    0
  31. Brett sound’s like a right dick….

    “Don’t suffer fools gladly” Is code for you are a anal retentive muppet and can’t see past the glare from your own asshole shining within your own planetary sphere.

    Jeez let’s get a bit of perspective, you aren’t saving lives with miracle cutting edge medical marvels that only you can dream up.

    You are riding a fucking bike.




    0
  32. Brett, you sound like a tremendous asshole. The best way for you to deal with a new rider is to not be a tremendous asshole.




    0
  33. @Beans

    Brett sound’s like a right dick….

    “Don’t suffer fools gladly” Is code for you are a anal retentive muppet and can’t see past the glare from your own asshole shining within your own planetary sphere.

    Jeez let’s get a bit of perspective, you aren’t saving lives with miracle cutting edge medical marvels that only you can dream up.

    You are riding a fucking bike.

    Irony!

    Well the leap from the “suffering fools” quote to a description of full bore narcissism is quite a stretch. Otherwise your point holds true for most things said over the inter-web, including this comment.




    0
  34. @teleguy57

    @Teocalli

    @ChrisO @girl I think the fact that someone is prepared to hook up for a 130-150 Km (80-95 mile) ride on the fly is either going to end well or very badly. Clearly we don’t know the full scenario but I’d have thought a few questions around weekly mileage, typical ride length, ride time etc may have sorted it and avoided a lot of angst all round.

    I think also it’s easy to ignore the concertina effect in an emergency in a group. Just the other week I was out with two regular mates. Fortunately as it turned out we were not hammering it, I was leading and as we came round a tight bend in a narrow road with high hedgerows I espied yon horse. It was already starting to turn and shy as I came round the bend so I called horse to the others and braked firmly, mate 1 a split second later slammed on his brakes to avoid me and laid down 50 miles worth or rubber on the road, mate 2 being another split second later was doomed. In-off mate 1 and over the bars. Fortunately only superficial grazing.

    Assume you’re talking about your mate’s condition after hitting the road, not the action of the horse…

    Ah yes – pun not intended there!




    0
  35. When I started, I had one bike that doubled as my commuter. I stumped up some cash for some cheap light wheels and GP4000’s, switched them in at weekends and started turning up to bunch rides. I tried hard to find an accepting bunch.

    I had poor fitting, $10 from a flea market store shirt and bibs, hairy legs, hand me down helmet.

    My bike retained the fenders and pannier rack, as I needed that for my commute during the week, and proudly flaunted its triple crank.

    I tell you what, I really learnt a lot about the mysterious ‘roadies’.

    I learnt that mostly, WE are a judgemental pack of wankers who love nothing more than to snigger under their breaths at people for fashion crimes.

    I never got dropped.

    So in short, fuck them, and fuck you if you are a judgemental wanker. I learnt a lesson in humility as there is nothing like being a victim of tight budget and having people back stab you and never saying hello.

    Assume all you want about me, I now look fantastic on the bike, and self taught since no other wanker was going to help me despite using my best manners and puppy dog eyes…

    It taught me to always make an effort to be friendly to others on the bike.

    I know what kind of bike rider I want to be, and I also know what kind of bike rider that cycling needs in order to grow.

    This isn’t the fucking SAS, we need all the people we can get out there, and so should encourage, teach and even preach as much as we can. And accept there will always be those that don’t and won’t meet your standards as a bike rider, but all the while remember that is ok too, and that you don’t have to be a dick about it!

    Else you are a grumpy closed minded exclusionist, who I am happy just rides on their own, because that is where you should stay!




    0
  36. @Beers You’ve really lost it.




    0
  37. @unversio

    @Beers You’ve really lost it.

    It sounds like @Beers and @Beans should get together for some beans and beer.




    0
  38. @DeKerr

    @unversio

    @Beers You’ve really lost it.

    It sounds like @Beers and @Beans should get together for some beans and beer.

    Which then may lead to both fart jokes and other things…




    0
  39. @unversio

    @Beers You’ve really lost it.

    Nah, just saying tis better to not be a judgemental dick and to help people, show them the way rather than shun them away.

    And my little story was to illustrate that I would have given up if it were not for my own stubbornness at ignoring the ignorance of my peers. And that I hope you guys aren’t like that.

    That’s all.




    0
  40. @Beers Couldn’t agree more. Some of the group conformation is legit. The other part is solid b.s. The more people riding bicycles, the better.




    0
  41. @Beers

    When I started, I had one bike that doubled as my commuter. I stumped up some cash for some cheap light wheels and GP4000’s, switched them in at weekends and started turning up to bunch rides. I tried hard to find an accepting bunch.

    I had poor fitting, $10 from a flea market store shirt and bibs, hairy legs, hand me down helmet.

    My bike retained the fenders and pannier rack, as I needed that for my commute during the week, and proudly flaunted its triple crank.

    *nervously puts his hand up*

    I rode my first sportive a few weeks ago, on a cheap road/commuter hybrid (Giant Rapid) with flat bars and mudguards (I did take the pannier rack off, but just for the day).

    I felt like a massive lemon, waiting to start with all these shaved, lycra-d ‘proper’ roadies with bikes worth twice my car (I saw a Pinarello Dogma at the start line).

    At my distance, I came 2nd.

    It’s all about the engine.




    0
  42. I was a runner for 20+ years and in several clubs over the years and NEVER saw any kind of judgement of skill level or dress. In fact, in one club, there were several Olympians who went out of their way to be encouraging and supportive.

    When I switched to cycling about 7 years ago, my my, the attitude. The thing is, this “attitude” usually comes from the wannabes. The greats don’t have to and won’t play that silly game. If I take an example from elite running, Paula Radcliffe does not put down runners slower than her, neither does Haile Gebrselassie, or Mo Farrah.

    I am fairly certain that Chris Froome does not feel the need to denigrate slower riders or the average Joe for their bike/dress etc.

    Grow up!!




    0
  43. @CerveloVan

    I’m not sure who you’re responding to but if its @brett’s article then you should read it again. I just did and it all seems pretty reasonable to me. So some questions to the “grown ups”:

    How would Paula Radcliffe react if you showed up for one of her weekly training runs wearing cowboy boots and a sprint suit? Would she say “Welcome to my running group. Let’s run together tonight!”?

    If ‘cowboy boots’ runs in a wayward line is he/she likely to cause a multi runner pile up with the potential to cause injury to other runners?

    Who are the “wannabes” you refer to?




    0
  44. @Teocalli coming back to the ‘we’re a tough’ group… not really. We did try and vet him, we did try and give him the scenario and an opportunity to back out gracefully should he decide he didn’t want to do it, and we didn’t try and give him a kicking. My point was that having done all those things, he still wanted to join and give it a go. He was also not up to it, but we couldn’t know for sure before he started. It ended badly for him because his lack of fitness had a big impact on his concentration and control. No, we weren’t happy that he wasn’t coming back, but based on what happened, not surprised. Like @ChrisO says, you want to encourage people, but not beyond what they can do so they get in a bad spot, and not to the extent that they endanger other people.

    It was really just an example of what can happen when a new person appears out of the ether.




    0
  45. gown is Margaery’s doing somehow, or her grandmother’s.

    http://etozapretnoe.ru/page_17011.html
    you!”




    0
  46. as long as they can hold the line, SAFELY, fuck the rules




    0
  47. @Hari

    as long as they can hold the line, SAFELY, fuck the rules

    0

    Should you not change your name to @fred?




    0
  48. @Hari

    as long as they can hold the line, SAFELY, fuck the rules

    0

    But…holding your line is one of The Rules!




    0
  49. being a relative newcomer to the forum, i am always rediscovering old threads that are relevant to the everyday issues of road cycling. i remember my first group road ride, and it was a fucking live action comic book. i had my brand new (to me) Merckx Corsa, two sizes too big, because i was so stupid as to be swayed by the name on the downtube. (the bike i passed up, a correctly-sized Bridgestone RB-1/Ultegra600, only adds to the asininity) anyway, i digress, again. so, i showed up to the start, thinking i was in shape.. lol. the dude that invited me to the ride said, “the pace picks up after a few miles, you’ll know what to do”. i surely did know what to do. i grit my teeth, mashed a 53×14 until i was so far in the red my teeth hurt, swaying in and out of the paceline the entire time, until the rest of the group smoothly dropped me on my ass. the last thing i saw through my greyed out tunnel vision was a sea of Klein, Serotta, and Ritchey WAAY down the road. i suffered along for a few more miles, not keen on giving up, but around the time i was gonna throw in the towel, i saw a BIG dude on a shiny Klein heading toward me. he stopped and asked if i was alright and did i need help? i was trying to be a tough guy, but i was WASTED. i couldn’t even muster a reply, i just looked at him with bloodshot eyes and empty futility. he said can you follow my wheel? give it a try! the dude then proceeded to pace me back to the start of the ride, the whole way telling me what i was doing wrong. we were going 20mph (cut me some rules slack, in the ’90s, only pretentious shits used km in the States) and i was SO wasted, it was one of the labors of hercules for me to hold his wheel. i remain impressed by this truly selfless act by a dude that had ZERO reason to help me out. he was one of the officers of the club and held an impressive racing pedigree. later on in his career, he did a ride with Greg Lemond, where he rode across China on a tandem with a blind stoker. to this very day, he helps organize and officiate local races for the club, though i haven’t seen him on a ride for many years.

    so just lately, there’s a new-ish dude on a nice bike, showing up to some rides. he’s lost a ton of weight since he started riding, which, ya know, that weight comes off QUICK at first, so good for him, and he’s really a pleasant enough guy to be around. he’s a little over focused on his data, though, and stares at his power and hr constantly. it is surely hard for a new rider to hold a line while doing this, so he’s all over the place. this type of shit makes my nervous as hell at tempo, and it’s all i can do to keep my mouth shut, but i do. i figure he’ll be around awhile, get it figured out, and be leaving me for dead soon enough. i always think of the big dude on the Klein. if not for him, i’d probably have given up after that first hellish group ride. in the long run, it’s really good to pay it forward. rule 3 is pretty important.




    0
  50. When I was a newbie I found a Rabbi who owned a local bike shop. He was friendly, funny, and knew his stuff. I had just bought my first real road bike and couldn’t figure out the presta valve. I sheepishly ask Greg for advice and he gave a good natured chuckle and asked someone to help me pump my tires. When I got my first clipless pedals I showed up at his group ride and tried to unclip. While unclipping both feet, I lost my balance and went arse over elbows while my new steed continued for several feet without me. Fortunately, both rider and bike were fine with the exception of some wounded pride. After giving an appropriate guffaw, Greg patted me on the back and said it has happened to everyone.

    Last July, the guy who showed me kindness and patience when I was an utter newb won the National Title in the Masters 2K individual pursuit. He gets to wear the jersey for an entire year. It could not have happened to a nicer guy!




    1

Leave a Reply

Skip to toolbar