Strictly Forbidden

03.17.2006 | 10:49 pm

I, the Fat Cyclist, hereby forbid the entire cycling universe from uttering the following phrases.  

  • “Nice weather for a ride” (uttered before a ride when the weather looks good): Look, you’re jinxing all of us by saying that. You’re inviting bad weather. Also, we’re all outside together, and we’ve all independently observed the niceness of the weather. It doesn’t need to be said. The fact that you’re saying “Nice weather” when the weather is obviously nice indicates that you’re the kind of person who can’t stand to not have someone talking. Or maybe you’re the kind of person who likes to always find positive things to say. Either way, I’m not sure I want to ride with you.
  • “Nice weather for a ride” (uttered when the weather is terrible): The pretentiousness of this statement makes me want to scream. Either you want me to believe that you really think the weather — which clearly sucks — is nice and that you are therefore a hearty soul who is unaffected by such trivial things as freezing rain and icy wind, or you want me to join you in your cliché little bout of sardonic humor. Either way, I’m not buying. In short, please: don’t talk about the weather unless you have something unique and interesting to say about it. And since the weather tends to repeat itself and has been observed by zillions since the beginning of time, my guess is the likelihood of your having a unique, interesting observation regarding said weather is poor.
  • “Sorry I’m so slow.” You’re riding with a group, so someone’s bound to lag a little. That’s fine. That’s expected. But then the slow guy has to go and make a self-validation ploy by apologizing for his slowness, in the hopes that everyone else will say, “No, you’re doing fine! You’re as fast as the rest of us, practically!” Well, guess what: while we may be saying those words, what we’re actually thinking is, “I’m just glad that I’m not the one off the back today.” From now on, anytime anyone says, “Sorry I’m so slow” to me, I’m going to look him in the eye and say, “I forgive you, for I have a generous heart.”
  • “I haven’t had a flat the whole season.” You know, by saying that, you’ve alerted all the nails, broken glass, goatheads and vipers with very sharp teeth to your whereabouts. They’re going to find you.
  • “This road/trail/course sucks.” No, it doesn’t suck. No road, trail, or course is objectively bad. Given the right bike and the right riding attitude, I believe just about anywhere can be fun on a bike. You’re just having a bad day. Quit complaining.
  • “This course used to be great, back before….” Yes, gramps, those were the good ol’ days. Maybe it’s time for you wind up this ride and get on home; there might be teenagers trespassing on your lawn.
  • “I’m not sure if I’ll be able to make it on that ride. If I’m more than ten minutes late, go on without me.” No, how about this instead: Show up for the ride on time. Or if you can’t make it, let us know beforehand. Or if you’re saying this as a mealy-mouthed way of saying you’re not going on the ride without actually coming out and saying that you’re not going on the ride, try this instead: say you’re not going on the ride.

Variants of these phrases shall also not be tolerated. Any infractions will result in the immediate, non-negotiable issuance of a demerit.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.


PS: My house goes on the market tomorrow; I’ve been racing around all week getting it just so for the open house this weekend. Can you tell I’m wound a little tight?


  1. Comment by Andrew | 03.17.2006 | 11:19 pm

    Dear Odiferous Oligarch of Oleomargarine,
    A little testy today, aren’t we?
    Since I am extremely slow, I’ll just have to say something like "You may have noticed that you’ve been waiting ten minutes for me to catch up to you, and I have no regrets, for I have been contemplating Father Zosima’s reflections on the nature of hell, in contrast to the agony of meaningless as expressed by Sartre. And you guys are stupid looking, too."

  2. Comment by Tom Stormcrowe | 03.17.2006 | 11:50 pm

    I’d ‘ve never guessed!  Of course, I will definately have to say…and I quote-:I forgive you, for I have a generous heart!" ::EVIL GRIN::

  3. Comment by Unknown | 03.17.2006 | 11:59 pm

    Shorter Fatty: 
    Shut up and ride. 

  4. Comment by Unknown | 03.18.2006 | 1:19 am

    Excellent content as usual.  I like to use a line that Lance used "You ridin’ or you hidin’?"
    Geez, I figured you were talking about a move that would take place in 6 months!

  5. Comment by dwcrx | 03.18.2006 | 3:09 am

    How about a ban on cliches like: The wind is not my friend. repeated umpteen times.

  6. Comment by BIg Mike In Oz | 03.18.2006 | 3:31 am

    I believe #2 was a personal favourite of Lance Armstrong.  Especially on those climbing days when Herr Ulrich was supposed to give him trouble… Turn, grin, "Nice weather for a 20 mile climb in the Pyrenees", bye bye.

  7. Comment by craig | 03.18.2006 | 2:42 pm

    that’s funny,
    all you guys do is complain about that trail in utah that used to be the bees knees beforesome houses went up or something like that. 

  8. Comment by Shari | 03.20.2006 | 3:05 am

    No, you’re practically as grouchy as the rest of us!!!
    Sorry, I’m so slow– I think I am normally the slowbe on all rides…. and I really am sincerely sorry that I am slower that you dern fast people…. so please forgive me and let’s get on with the ride. Next time, I need a 15 min head start!

  9. Comment by Unknown | 03.20.2006 | 5:29 am

    please, I beg you….. your writing is so close to perfect; comedic timing, ellipsis as a dramatic and comic tool, and your penchant for understatement. But you have one very bad habit. You gotta stop splitting your infinitives. You do it. A lot.
    why, just this entry features 2 infractions…
    "can’t stand to not have someone talking"
    "who likes to always "
    and from 3/14
    "took this opportunity to immediately begin"
    Anyways, it isn’t a huge deal, but it’s arguably the only real, consistent flaw in your writing. It really was nice weather today……

  10. Comment by Tim D | 03.20.2006 | 8:56 am

    Talking about the weather is the national passtime here in the UK, but the only acceptable comment when riding is to say "Beautiful day" regardless of the weather.
    Anyone who mentions the ‘P’ word near a bicycle can be legally shot.
    The worst thing people can do when out mountain biking is to answer their mobile.
    Pleiades, I never understood the rule about split infinitives, it makes no sense and can spoil the meaning of what you are trying to say.  Grammar rules are guidelines.

  11. Comment by jim | 03.20.2006 | 2:55 pm

    How can we all be the slow guy?  I know that I am the slow one BUT I never apologize.  I am usually so bummed at my sorry showing or pissed off that you barely lifted a pinky whilst schooling me that all I can muster when approaching the "wait for the slow losers rendezvou" is a angry grimmace meant to commicate, "don’t talk to me!"
    And Pleiades…please don’t read my blog.  My flawed writing would probably cause you to blow a gasket.

  12. Comment by Unknown | 03.20.2006 | 5:13 pm

    So at Fall Moab, when I got that flat and stated that I hadn’t had one in like a year, that irritated you, huh? 
    Aren’t you the one that whined a bunch about "Betty" when the Boy Scouts gave her a facelift, gramps?
    By the way, isn’t the weather nice out for a ride today?
    No need to thank me.  I am slow and I am just here to help.

  13. Comment by Jose | 03.20.2006 | 5:49 pm

    Here are some other phrases:
    "I just wanted to take it easy today", oh yeah!, why don’t you just accept that your condition sucks.
    "I don’t see any difference between your XTR component and my LX", that’s because you don’t have the money to pay the extra $150 bucks.

  14. Comment by Zed | 03.20.2006 | 7:24 pm

    Dang. I guess I’m better off just not talking. Jose, the "I’m just going to take it easy" line is the one I throw out to let my fellow paceliners know that I’ve bonked and I’m about to completely drop off the back end of the line. It usually doesn’t come until about mile 50, though, provided I’ve skipped dinner to join in the ride.
    Here’s a line I’m getting sick of: "It’s not about the bike, man, didn’t you read the book?" The person who says this is always the one who spent $5,000 on a Colnago.

  15. Comment by Jsun | 03.20.2006 | 8:01 pm

    ‘Everyone is always talking about the weather, but nobody ever does anything about it’
    paraphrased and probably incorrectly attributed to Mark Twain
    shut up and ride

  16. Comment by Sarah | 03.20.2006 | 10:24 pm

    ooh, ooh!  Another one *I* absolutely hate, is when you’ve turned up for the ride, you’ve just got all your gear on and you’re about to head off, then your partner says "I might not be able to keep up with you today (insert excuse – I did a hard training session two days ago, or I guess I shouldn’t have done that hill work yesterday, or I had a bad night".)Like, couldn’t they have called before hand to let you know that they were going to suck today so you should arrange another riding buddy? I mean, if you’re out intent on a hard training session and they’re in need of an easy recovery ride, it really screws your ride!

  17. Comment by bradley | 03.21.2006 | 1:06 am

    Nice day for a split infinitive, ain’t it? What I want to really know is where did that rule come from? Well, I do have to want to really  know because I really do know how to really explain where the rule against the split infinitive came from, and the "rule" for no prepositions at the end of a sentence. Damn, I wanted really bad to end that sentence with a preposition above. Okay, the rule, if we want to call them that. The rules come from the 18th century English (as in England English) grammarians who decided we needed rules. So, what did they do? they went and took the rules for latin and made them the same for English, more or less.
    So, since it is absolutely impossible to split a latin infinitive, given that latin infinitives are a single word and not two, you aren’t allowed to split an infinitive in English, or so say the rules and the grammar mavens. Same thing with prepositions. In latin you can’t, just can’t (unless you’re a latin syntactical moron) end a sentence with preposition. So don’t get bogged down in petty prescriptiveness. Down with the split infinitive! Long live split infinitives! Long live English! Woo-hoo!

  18. Comment by Kelly | 03.21.2006 | 3:54 am

    What I was thinking was, "Does Fatty tape my comments or what?"

    I’m so riding tomorrow with my mouth entirely SHUT.

    Hope you’re well. Sure do miss getting around to everyone, especially you. Take care!

  19. Comment by Azriel | 03.21.2006 | 8:58 am

    You’re a Celeb. you can ask more money. Heck, I’d pay a couple more dineros just so that i can take tours of what used to be "fatty’s home" thogh I hope no one confuzes it with "fetiche’s home". Ahhh nevermind.

  20. Comment by Unknown | 03.30.2006 | 12:37 pm

    Another thing to never say on a ride:  "Yeah, I haven’t ridden enough/am under the weather/am just not feeeling it today."  If you are off the front, those comments just scream smugness:  "Yeah, if I actully trained a bit, I’d really crush all he rest of you."  If you’re off the back, it just sounds like you’re asking your buddies to validate your lack of fitness, dedication to training, or whatever it is that slowed you down on that particular day.  Better to just ride your ride and enjoy the day!   


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