This past weekend ride was joyous, painful, and of course not lacking of any excitement. I set off on my normal route with a few extra added in climbs throughout Mission Valley and Santee. About halfway through my ride I made a stupid mistake though. I was seriously put to shame this weekend out on the road and I take full ownership for the blame. See I did a cycling no-no which was to assume a perfect stranger couldn’t keep up with me due to a certain rust bucket he was riding, big mistake. I should have remembered the blog post at BikeCrave, (one of my go-to blogs for cycling inspiration). In his post he say’s “Don’t be that type of rider” which of course I ignored and did. Let me set it up for you…
I’m sitting at a light (red of course) minding my own business enjoying catching my breath for a minute about halfway through my 40 mile ride on Saturday. Then all of a sudden as the light turns green this “dude” (we’ll just call him dude, k?) goes screaming by on this old, beat up, rusted out Specialized mountain bike. Of course I can’t let this happen so I quickly clip in and give it everything I got to catch up as fast as possible. I get behind this “dude” and start to analyze his bike and gear all the while thinking in my head that I can’t let this “dude” on a mountain bike pass me up. Right off the bat I notice that he doesn’t have any bottle cages and the fact he is wearing a camelback. The holes for the water bottle cages are completely rusted out, probably the reason he doesn’t have any. His kit is basically all mountain bike gear from shorts to jersey. His bike was shit, literally. He was riding a dark green Specialized hard tail and the rear wheel was wobbling a little bit and I could see he was in his last gear and spun out. I got this, right? So here was my chance. I pulled up next to him and said in a joking kind of way “There’s no way I’m letting a mountain bike take me” and I drop the hammer, so to say. I picked it up to 26 mph for at least a good minute and when I eased off a bit there he was pulling past me. Wait, what? How can this guy be passing me on this jalopy he’s riding? As I’m catching my breath in his draft I notice something that I should have noticed in the first place. Shaved and ripped calves, oops. OK, well my bad for assuming he was a novice. I’m thinking to myself that I need to somehow makeup for it and try again. I drop down a few gears and pull around this guy and take a good look at his face. I see no pain, no expressions, nothing. Not even eye contact, dang he’s serious here. I decide to try and save whatever dignity I have left and give it one more shot. We’re both hammering now and we’re blowing stop lights (no cars, early morning) and finally on the third stop light I see cars waiting and decide it’s not worth it and he blows through it and is gone. Wow, I got my ass handed to me.
Did I learn anything from this experience? First thing I learned is I hate when mountain bikes pass me. That was probably my first mistake. Seriously though, assuming how someone rides or how strong they are is probably the stupidest thing I could have done (as you could see). This guy put me in the hurt locker and if we were in a race scenario I would have blown my wad and well…..lost. With every ride I do I gain not only physical fitness but also experience in life. What I learned on Saturday is that everyone is at different levels and I have no idea what training program or level another rider is at out on the road and assuming so only makes me look like a fool. The old adage of not judging a book by its cover applies here. It’s cliche but lesson learned. Chalk this one up in my book on life.
Here’s to you Specialized hard tail rust bucket cyclist. Thanks for the sprint workout. You got me….. this time. Tips hat.
“Mantenha o lado da borracha para baixo”