Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Pardon me as I climb up on my soapbox

Being the quite, reserved, somewhat shy Texan that I am, I'm going to crawl out of my shell just a little bit, and express myself for a moment. After attending way too many bicycle rides to count over the years, and observing how a large portion of you ride your bikes, I just have one question to ask.

What the hell is wrong with you people?

To the guy and his wife who passed me, (on the right I might add), on their tandem, and only waited until the guy up front was past me to start moving to the left into me, I ask, what the hell is wrong with you? While no one can sympathize more than I, that you might want to forget that your wife is behind you on the tandem, it's still a tandem. Even if there was no one behind you, you still have to wait until the entire bike has passed me before moving to the left. And yes, it is typically considered rude and unsafe to pass someone on the right.

To the group of seven guys riding the Collin Classic two years ago, who decided that it would be a good idea to ride shoulder-to-shoulder, not only all the way across your own lane, but spilling across the yellow line, I ask, what the hell is wrong with you guys? These knuckleheads actually forced a oncoming car off the road, refusing get back in their own lane. Forget trying to get these guys to single up and move to the right. How bout we just try and get these guys back into their own lane. Not that I don't think that it would be cool to play chicken with an oncoming 2,000 lbs automobile, but my damn survival instinct just keeps kicking in and prevents me from doing just this sort of stupid activities.

Saving the best for last, to the guy who stopped in the middle of the road, directly in front of me, for absolutely no freakin' reason, I have to ask, what the hell is wrong with you? Each year, we ride in a Jan 1st ride called the "Happy New Rear" ride. By Texas standards it's usually quite cold. Six years ago, myself and two of my cycling buddies were riding in the Happy New Rear. We were riding side by side. Before you say anything, there was no automobile traffic behind us, so we were perfectly legal in not riding single file. So there. There was another group of three, riding side by side, about 15 feet in front of us. I had looked down for a split second to grab my water bottle. When I looked up, one of the three in front of us had stopped for some reason. Now, maybe I'm just being difficult. But typically, when I stop, I will move to the far right side of the road and stop there. This guy, for some unknown reason, decided that it would be a good idea to just stop in the middle of the road. Quite frankly, it was actually fairly impressive. I've never seen anyone stop a bike and dismount that fast, before or since. So I look up and I have just about enough time to shout "Hey!". I swerved at the last minute and caught him on my right side as he stood there in the middle of the road. That spun me around and off of my bike, landing squarely on my tailbone. One of the friends I was riding with that day said I looked like Tigger, from the Winnie the Pooh stories, bouncing down the middle of the road on my behind. As dumb a thing as stopping in the middle of the road was for this guy to do, he more than made up for it by doing one of the smartest things he ever did shortly thereafter. He got the hell out of there. By the time I was able to compose myself, he and his friends were long gone. That was six years ago, and to this day I still look for this guy at bike rides. Somewhere out there is a butt in need of kicking.

These seemingly normal people, and I'm giving a lot of credit there, are behaving in what can only be described as stupid behaviour.
Now what makes people behave in the ways that I have described above? I mean, how smart do you have to be?

I have a theory.

I believe, and I have no medical data or formal medical training to back this up. Oh, I've dabbled a little with some informal medical training, but no sort of "structured" education or lecture. But I believe that there are a certain percentage of the people in this country, who are born with a birth defect. Apparently, in this small percentage of people, one of the main arteries that supplies blood to the brain, runs directly through their behind. Couple this birth defect, with riding a bicycle, and you have a group of people, that as soon as their rear ends hit a bicycle saddle, they automatically lose about 75 to 100 I.Q. points. This is the only hypothesis that I can come up with that explains some of the behaviour that I have seen out there.

So the next time you see someone riding in at what can best be described as an "erratic" fashion, do not be angry with them. These people are to be pitied. Through no fault of their own, they are dealing with a handicap that the rest of us just can't understand. They suffer from what I have dubbed as A.R.B.F.D., or Ass Restricted Blood Flow Disease. I for one, think there should be some sort of labor day telethon to help these people.

I have considered the possibility that these people do not actually suffer from any sort of illness. That they ride they way they do simply because they're stupid. If that's the case, then that is what I would describe as a self correcting problem. Eventually, if they continue to ride the way they do, they will eventually do something stupid, at the wrong time, and the problem will have corrected itself. Not that I wish any sort of accident on anyone else, but you reap what you sow. If you ride like an idiot, then sooner or later, bad stuff is bound to happen.

Wouldn't it be a better world if everyone rode just like me? Just imagine.

Peace out........Nearly Famous Fred

1 comment:

Cliff said...

I don't know Nearly Famous Fred, Uber-domsetique, or Tigger so many nicknames for only one guy!!

Sometime ask me about my Ralph Nader theory of gene pool pollution.