sábado, 9 de diciembre de 2017

Show some manners unknown cyclist

I learnt my first cycling lessons sitting on "grandpa" Raul's wheel. One of those lessons is you should always wave cyclist riding in the opposite direction and if you pass a cyclist you always have to say hello, no excuses. Think about it, there is no good excuse to not saying a simple hello when you pass a cyclist, as simple as that.

In fact passing a cyclist and not saying hello was kind of a capital sin in Raul's book, and that meant it was the same not only in my book but also in everyone's that had learn cycling manners sitting on "grandpa" Raul's wheel.

Being close to a capital sin passing a cyclist, in particular, passing "gradpa" Raul and not saying hello had to be punished. In Raul's book when that happened it was totally justified to jump on the offender's wheel and sit there silently until the next obvious sprint appeared, being it a town sign or a hill; it was totally justified to jump out of the wheel without any warning and outsprint the offender.

Now, Raul is a mountain biker, and so I was when I learnt this lesson. Sometimes we would be riding on the road and a road cyclist would pass us without saying hello. Without a word Raul would jump on the offender's wheel and everyone riding with him having a gram of energy would do the same. At the next obvious sprint everyone would jump and outsprint the offender. Most of the times to the total surprise of the rider that couldn't figure out what the hell was going on with that bunch of crazy mountain bikers.

As you can imagine we were proper choppers (we still are) and every now and then a strong road cyclist would pass us saying nothing. It those situations we felt exempted from teaching the offender any lesson; but, of course, we would comment on the lack of manners and wish for a puncture on the offenders rear wheel.

All this came to my mind today. Denis, Mark, Richard and myself were in the final kilometres of our ride to Arundel. We hadn't ride full speed, it was more of an endurance, base miles ride but, hey, we had already something like 150k and 2,000m of climbing on our legs so it is fair to say we were tired.

Today was one of those days we had left our knifes at home and instead attacking each other we had been riding collaboratively all day, we didn't even "race" the hills. We were approaching the Esher sprint and I can assure you I had no intention to dispute the sprint. There was no point in a ride like today's.

But there it comes this cyclists and passes us without saying hello. As far as I can tell without even looking at us. Had he said a simple hello and I would had replied back "hi" and I would had carried at our own pace.

The destiny had it that I was in front of our group of four and without even thinking about it I did what had to be done. I jumped on his wheel.

I'll admit it didn't feel easy. The bad-mannered was putting some effort and very quickly got a gap that forced me to sprint to get his wheel.

But I got him.

And I sat on his wheel as silent as possible, riding toward his left to make sure he would not see me if he looked back.

I'm not sure if he knew I was on his wheel or not but he definitively tried to attack the two small ramps before the final one. But I had him and he was not going to drop me. I was certainly not fresh but he was not that strong (otherwise I just had wished him a puncture in the back wheel) and I could tell he was fading out. This made the case even worst for him, I started to suspect he had accelerated beyond his cycling capabilities just to pass us. Another no-no in any cyclist's book. I started to savour revenge.

When we approached the final ramp I looked back and I saw Richard was on my wheel. Excellent, double lesson to the offender.

I waited for it and when he was clearly slowing down I jumped out of his wheel and sprinted. I knew I had dropped him.

Richard appeared on my right and clearly took the sprint. I didn't care. I normally would, it would have been just another bad executed sprint, and I don't like to lose a sprint, even if I'm not a sprinter. But today I didn't care, all that mattered was we had taken the sprint from the offender, even if he didn't know why.

We stopped in Esher to wait for Denis and Mark, the rider passed and I wonder what he was thinking of us. A shame I'll never know.

While we were waiting I explained Richard the reason for my behaviour and when Denis and Mark I gave my explanation again. Another of Javier's rules said Denis.

Now you know, always say hello when you pass a rider, specially if it is a chopper, Spanish looking riding in the UK.

Take care
Javier Arias González

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