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Today, I had planned a very nice post. In fact, the title of the post was "How to be Nice." In it, I was going to relate three bike-related anecdotes where I have had encounters with people who I did not necessarily expect to be nice, but were.
One of the anecdotes was going to be about my ride in to work yesterday, where I tried to overtake another cyclist during the entirety of the Suncrest climb. When I eventually succeeded (about 50 feet from the summit, after a four-mile climb), he was gracious and complimentary, acknowledging that he had been giving everything he had to keep me at bay, and thanking me for pushing him to his limit. That was nice.
The second anecdote was going to be about how, about a week ago, when I yielded to a horseback rider, he observed that he maybe should have yielded to me, because I was climbing and had the harder job to get started again. "That’s OK," I said, "Bikes yield to horses. That’s the rule." Later, when, by (not so) strange coincidence, I came across the same rider in another place on the trail network, he immediately pulled off the trail and said, "My turn." That was nice.
My final anecdote was going to be about how yesterday, as I rode home, up the north side of Traverse Ridge (about 1500 feet in just about three miles) in the blistering heat, I closed on, caught and passed a small tractor. As I went by the open-air cab, the driver said, "Good job, buddy." That was nice.
I was going to conclude with an inspiring observation about how much nicer people are than I generally give them credit for, and a heart-warming personal resolution to be nice.
That was before I went to the home page of MSNBC.com today.
Blindsided by a Spoiler (Which I Will Not Repeat)
Yes, I know that I went on and on about how I was going to use my SlingBox to watch the TdF at work, but the reality is I don’t have time to watch it, and my wife would be bummed if we didn’t get to watch it together each night (yes, my wife loves to watch the Tour every night. Husbands of the world: envy me).
So I’ve been going out of my way to not know what’s going on in the Tour during the workday. This is not easy, considering I’ve bookmarked pretty much every English-language cycling-related site in the world.
Never considering that (in the absence of Armstrong) TdF news would make the home page of a mainstream news page, I went to MSNBC.com for my morning news fix.
And there it was: a short headline that gave away the ending of today’s stage. I’m not the swearing type, but: damn it. Yeah, that’s about as severe as I get.
I now know how the L’Alpe d’Huez stage ends, effectively spoiling what I expect will be the most dramatic and exciting stage of the Tour.
And now I do not feel like being nice.