by Scott Martin
I made a huge tactical error on last Sunday’s group ride. I’m not talking about missing the break, getting boxed in during the sprint or blowing my nose on the beefy guy known as Steroid Sid.
No, my big mistake was believing my buddy when he called that morning and said, “We’re going to take it easy today.”
“Perfect,” I replied. “I rode long yesterday and I’m beat.”
We warmed up for 300 yards. Suddenly, everybody was in the big ring and out for blood. My computer hit 20 mph, then 25 mph, then went straight to 911.
I should know better. Cyclists are the biggest sandbaggers around. They’ll say anything to soften you up for the kill. Don’t let this happen to you. Study my handy roadie phrasebook to find out what they really mean when they say:
“I’m out of shape.”
Translation: I ride 400 miles a week and haven’t missed a day since the Ford administration. I replace my 11-tooth cog more often than you wash your shorts.
My body fat percentage is lower than your mortgage rate.
“I’m not into competition.”
Translation: I will attack until you collapse in the gutter, babbling and whimpering as if you’ve been watching anything with a Kardashian in it. I will win the town-line sprint if I have to hook you into an oncoming Peterbilt. I will crest this hill first if I have to grab your seatpost, spray energy drink in your eyes and ask you how to program my DVR.
“I’m on my beater bike.”
Translation: I had this baby custom-made in Tuscany using titanium blessed by the Pope. I took it to a wind tunnel and it disappeared. It weighs less than a popcorn fart and costs more than a divorce.
Scott Martin has been writing about cycling for more than 15 years. He worked as an editor for Bicycling magazine for 10 of them and wrote the “Scott’s Spin” column for RBR from which this is republished. He has also covered cycling for several national magazines.