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?