Saturday, March 29, 2008

How to Understand Club Cyclists


Noting that some of my fellow local bike bloggers have posted trying to explain the particular vocabulary of cycling, I thought it might be useful to put a few of these words together and try to provide some insight into what your fellow riders really mean in those casual converstions…

One of the first things we’ll look at is how cyclists communicate with each other when they get together with other cyclists at group rides, or casual gatherings somewhere along a stretch of road or singletrack. If you’re new to the tribe, there are subtle underscores to seems otherwise to be an idle conversation. Let’s listen in, and insert the appropriate subtitles

“Been riding much?”
(How fit are you? )

“Not much. You?”
(My anaerobic threshold is 250 and my resting pulse is 14)

“Nah, I've been really busy.”
(My body fat is 2%)

“Well, let's take it easy today.”
(Ready, set, go! )

“This is a no-drop ride.”
(I'll need an article of your clothing for the search-and-rescue dogs. )

“It's not that far.”
(Yes, it is. Bring your passport. )

“This trail is a blast.”
(I hope you have good medical insurance)

“I think I might have a flat tire.”
(Slow down, will ya?)

“I definitely have a flat tire.”
(Help me change it)

“I don't have a low enough gear.”
(I've gained 5 pounds)

“I've decided to buy a lighter bike.”
(I've gained 10 pounds)

“I'm carbo loading.”
(Pass the ice cream)

“I'm tapering.”
(I haven't ridden in 2 months)

“I'm not into competition. I'm just riding to stay in shape.”
(I will attack until you collapse in the gutter, babbling and whimpering. I will win the line sprint if I have to force you into oncoming traffic. I will crest this hill first if I have to grab your seat post, and spray Gatorade in your eyes. )

“He's such a wheelsucker.”
(I can't drop him)

“She's always half-wheeling me.”
(I can't keep up with her)

“She's a hammer.”
(She's faster than me)

“He's a geek.”
(I'm faster than him)

“The town-line sprint is 100 yards beyond the next bend.”
(The town-line sprint is 200 yards beyond the next bend)

”If you're a good bike handler, you don't need to wear a helmet.”
(I'm so stupid a brain injury wouldn't affect me)

“Nobody needs a dual-suspension mountain bike.”
(I can't afford a dual-suspension mountain bike)

“Dual suspension is the only way to go.”
(I just dropped 3 months' salary on a dual-suspension mountain bike)

“I bonked.”
(All I took along for a 4-hour ride was a half-empty bottle of month-old Gatorade and a moldy Clif Bar)

“If you don't crash, you're not going fast enough, dude!”
(I crash a lot)

“I don't own a car.”
(I'm a better person than you)

“Why doesn't somebody do something about all these potholes?”
(Why doesn't somebody else do something about all these potholes? )

“I do all my own bike maintenance”
(The wheels still roll, and when I squeeze the front brake lever, the bike shifts gears)

“Thanks for waiting.”
(Wipe that smug grin off your ugly face)

“Hey, did you guys hear about those new 1.8 gram carbon-fiber quick-release skewers with titanium springs?”
(I am a very lonely person)

“This section of trail looks doable.”
(You first, sucker! )

“I want to ride my bike to work, but...”
(I don't want to ride my bike to work)

“Hold on, there's something wrong with my bike….”
(Let's stop so I can rest)

“My tires suck!”
(This climb is killing me! )

“Can you clear that drop-off?”
(I can, but I bet you can't)

“It's getting dark.”
(I wanna go home)

“This bike is a piece of sh_t!”
(I can't ride worth sh_t)

“I think I broke my arm.”
(There's a little bruise on my arm and I don't want to ride anymore)

“I'd jump that but I don't want to tweak my new rims.”
(I'm too chicken to try)

“This hill is easy.”
(This hill’s pretty tough but I'm gonna try and lose you on it)

“That trail is boring.”
(I know I can't make it)

“Last one down is buying.”
(I'll make you feel like a loser and get a free beer too! )

“My bike was acting funny.”
(Otherwise I would have whooped your butt! )

“He's pretty good.”
(I know I'm better than him)

“He sucks!”
(He's better than me)

“That thing's a piece of sh_t.”
(I wish I had one... )

“I'm on my beater bike.”
( I had this baby custom-made in Tuscany using titanium blessed by the Pope. I took it to a wind tunnel and it disappeared. It weighs less than a fart and costs more than a divorce. )

“It's not that hilly.”
(This climb lasts longer than a presidential campaign. Be careful on the steep sections or you'll fall over -- backward. You have a 39x23 low gear? Here's the name of my knee surgeon. )

"You're doing great, honey"
(Yo, lard butt, I'd like to get home before midnight. This is what you get for spending the winter decorating and eating chocolate. )

Cyclists are not really sandbaggers when it comes to an opportunity to grind someone else’s ego under their tires, but we certainly can be masters of understatement.

Now you know how to break the code…

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