Hello. I'm ek and I ride a bike whenever and wherever I can. Sometimes things happen to me when I'm out riding that are beyond my control and I have problem with that. Even though this is my first session, I hope that when this is over it'll be easier for me to deal with all of this. Thanks.
the most part, I don't allow things to bother me much and let the
trivial matters roll off my back. As cyclists, we are prone to extra
annoyances not often experienced by the "other half". It's often hard to
keep a level head while enduring the same issues over and over and over
again. But fortunately, there is an answer to the question of 'how much
more can you take before you snap?' It can be as simple as rant on a
blog. And with that, welcome everyone to my therapy session.
- The Casual Day Trippin' Stroller. "On your left!" Simple concept really. Three words, clearly stating an alert and intent of the rider. However, there are people, whose inner compass spins like a hippie at a Dead concert, that have no concept of direction and their immediate surroundings. Those three words might as well have been spoken in Swahili as they lackadaisically turn into your path; at which point uttering a more colorful instruction like, "no dipshit your other left" seems totally appropriate. Now listen, I'm all for people getting outside, it's a really good thing. But the frustration comes in the realization that for some, their moment of zen doesn't acknowledge me and I end up getting forced out of mine.
- Mailboxes. Can someone please explain to me why we still have these anyway? When not closed properly, the open maws of these receptacles of debt only seek to rip the flesh off of unsuspecting arms and torsos. Too many times I've found myself in the "Oh shit!" moment and swerving out of the way of a trip to the ER and some new stitches. So the solution is simple people, shut your box jaw; or may a pack of bored teens with baseball bats descend upon it.
- People In Cars. Something strange happens when humans get into those four-wheeled metal boxes, something frustrating, something potentially dangerous; the car becomes a rolling aggravation chamber. On a good day maybe you get a prolonged honk or a pointed question about your sexual preference; on a bad day, a real bad day, it could lead to an unfortunate life changing moment.
The other side of the spectrum, which can be just as perilous, is encountering the casual day trippin' stroller who is now driving home while checking their cell on how many Likes they'd got from their photo uploads.
- Mechanicals. Nothing puts a damper on a ride quicker than having something break or fail. It sucks being "that guy" who ends up holding up everybody on a group ride to replace a tube or fix a snapped chain. What's even worse is having it happen right out of the gate, having crushed the buzz before it even starts. No matter how well you maintain your bike, it's the law of averages and there is no way you can keep the most determined gremlin from sometimes ruining your day.
- Garbage. 'Merica!– you're slobs. The trash that I see along the roadside makes me unbelievably agitated. I just don't understand why people still think that the garbage can is right out the window! Nothing pisses me off more than having to dodge broken beer bottles while in the middle of a four mile climb or flying wide open down a hill. And what is up with all the shoes? How is it possible to lose just one shoe? From a car? That question has perplexed me for years.
- The Pretentious Pedaler. Yeah, I see you have a nice bike. And I get that maybe you are in the midst of your daily 5 hour training regiment. But when you make eye contact with me and I offer a hello, understand that it is common courtesy to ACKNOWLEDGE IN KIND! C'mon man! You're not that cool are you? I know you heard/saw me. It's assclowns like you that are often times the catalyst of the issues in the afore mentioned #3 slot. Come down from that pedestal you put yourself on, it's good to be humble.
That said, I shouldn't limit this just to the PP's. I guess for shits and giggles I could lump in the bike shops that they quite often walk out of. These establishments may make eye contact and engage you, but they do so with nose pointed at the ceiling. Alright, a little exaggerated I know, but everybody has had this experience in a shop at least once.
- Bugs. I'm not saying that I have some sort of phobia, I just find them highly annoying. I have seen them take people out, (myself included) as they quickly separate rider from bike. It could be a single hornet or a cloud of gnats, it doesn't matter, these little things are out to get you! It's kinda like David and Goliath. Although in this story David has a hundred eyes, flies around for 48 hours trying to get laid and oh yeah, enjoys exploring dark and hard to reach places. All it takes is one to the eye, up the nose, in the ear and your concentration, momentum, and balance cease to exist. The only priority at that point is extricating it from the body, which can lead to instinctively releasing one's grip from the handlebars; hit a bump and look, you're a 180lb. bug flying through the air too.
- Doping. Generally speaking, I think that cyclists aim to bring positive change to other non-rider perceptions. But, every yang has its yin. In this case, ours is the juiced up pedal mashers and the black eye that they give us. If you want to ride chemically modified, buzzed, whatever, that's your decision. However doing it with the intention of f'n everybody over for your own personal gain, glory, or gonads? Really? In the end you're just a disappointment to those who look up to you and to the sport in general. So congratulations on accomplishing that, douchebags, you win.
- Downtime. Whether it's from injury or the winter months (for those who enjoy four seasons), nothing is more depressing than dealing with the idea of prolonged absence from the bike. Mid winter can be dismal in Northeastern Ohio, when being able to ride maybe a handful of times over the stretch of two months is a blessing. This isn't quite as bad as wrecking yourself and being couched for a few months, but either way, when it happens, it sucks.
- Trail Access. Again, all about perceptions. The day the clever ad execs decided to label mountain biking as "Ex-treeme!!!" was the day that those of us who liked to go off and play in the woods got "Screwwed!!." A lot of it has to do with an old stubborn way of thinking. It's been a one step forward, two steps back dance that has been playing out for as long as I've been riding. Progress is slow and frustrating. I myself have succumbed to the occasional bout of civil disobedience and poached a few trails. Although, it's not like I was negatively impacting the land itself or force feeding energy drinks to every critter that came across my path. Really, the only guilt I had was knowing that if I got caught, I'd be ammo for the other side.
So the battle rages on, with numerous hurdles to overcome; more so it seems than the resistance one would encounter in wanting to clear out virgin land for a f'n golf course or strip mall. Go figure.
[sits back down]
Well, there it is, my bitch list. I might of missed a few, but wanted to cut this short of a complete tirade. So with that, if anybody out there has any more to add, the floor is now yours.