I’d like to take just a sec out of my busy day to ask a sincere, heartfelt, and thought-provoking question:
What in the ever-loving fuck is wrong with cyclists?
I know I have (along with roughly one bazillion other runners) pondered this question before, along with attempts to demystify their flags-o-many-countries spandex costumes and their general super-irritability. I’ve never had much success at pinpointing the root of why so many cyclists are so crabtastic (though if I’m injured and have to resort to a stat bike, by the end of an hour on the bike I genuinely look forward to the opportunity to lash out unprovoked even at a small child).
Anyway, since it’s the middle of the winter and there are no flashy cycling events on TV and it’s kind of chilly, the cyclists, naturally, have all disappeared. Their bikies are all safely stored away and their costumes await, neatly pressed and stretched out over large wicker frames so that they will not be impossible to fit over bloated bodies come May. This is typically a pleasant time for runs in the park, void of the ear-splitting bellows of confounding instructions from cyclists coming up from behind or the colon-clutch moments of cyclists careening around corners directly toward you at top speed with their heads down. (WHY?)
Nonetheless, if the weather is decent and a new biking toy has been acquired over Christmas and the flab can be packed into the spandex and there is A Resolution to keep, there can often be a flurry of cyclists from about January 1st to, say, January 2nd or so. Then it ends abruptly until May. My experience is that these out-of-season cyclists are something like exhausted and bewildered bears who have accidentally stumbled out of their caves. Nothing good can come of it. And it’s really in everyone’s best interest to give them a super-wide berth and maybe even avert your eyes if they look your way. At no time is it a good idea to provoke the January Cyclist, and I would even recommend playing dead if one directly approaches you. Blowing a shrill whistle, banging pots together, and shouting, “NO! GO AWAY!” at them really doesn’t do much good. I’ve tried.
But, on occasion, The January Cyclist appears out of nowhere and scares the living shit out of you. This happened a few days ago when I was out for an awesome New Year’s Day jog-a-thon in the park with a couple of the Run Bitches, the KOB, and two neighbors who are new to the whole concept of running for “fun.” It was a beautiful morning, and we were all feeling great in spite of mild gin/champagne/something-made-with vodka headaches and a smattering of flatulence as a result of… well, who really knows what. As if we ever need (or ever have) a specific reason. Lolz.
Anyway, there we were jogging away into our final mile down to the Stoned Gates when (and I promise I am not exaggerating the following events AT ALL) The J.C. suddenly came up from behind yelling, “ON YOUR LEFT! ON YOUR LEFT! ON YOUR LEFT!” One of our neighbor friends, who was about 50 yards behind us, just about jumped out of her skin and rocketed off into the woods, not being familiar or experienced with people who sneak up behind you and scream for no apparent reason.
Within seconds, J.C. wheeled up behind three of us who were running pretty much on the edge of the left-hand side of the road already. Mind you, the entire rest of the road (one-way and rarely traveled by cars) was empty, and any imbecile (like me) would figure that a cyclist would not want you to cross the entire road right in front of him just so that he could pass on your left. Right?
Astoundingly, this guy continued with the “ONYOURLEFTONYOURLEFTON YOURLEFT” in an increasingly belligerent tone until he was literally (as in literally) right on my heels. In a surreal moment of true what-the-fuckery, January Cyclist crowded around us on the dirt shoulder on the left, all the while lecturing us on The Rules of the Road and how we needed to learn them. He actually said, “You double your chances of my hitting you if you don’t move out of my way.”
Whaaaaaaaaaaaaat? Can anyone explain this to me? FFS. Is there a separate set of dumbass rules for people on bikes? Or have cyclists been sitting on those tiny little leather seats for so long that, in a real sense, they have sticks up their asses?
An abrupt shower of obscenities may or may not have been hurled at the January Cyclist’s stupid pinhead as he disappeared down the hill and I might have yelled, “Enjoy your New Year, moron!”
The good news is that it fueled a super-peppy last mile during which the KOB said, “I could probably catch him” (he probably could have) and we all had pleasantly gratifying daydreams of the January Cyclist receiving a throat punch.
Anyway, if anyone out there can explain what is wrong with cyclists (okay, some cyclists), please enlighten me.
Thanks in advance.