By Scott Martin
In the spirit of RBR’s mission to inform and inspire, I’ve decided to reveal a couple of the stupidest cycling things I’ve ever done.
Why? I guarantee that after reading these screw-ups, you will feel better about your bicycling expertise. Even if you started riding yesterday.
My earliest doozy happened after I crashed my first good bike and mangled the frame. The parts looked okay, so I went to the bike shop and bought a new frame. Things went smoothly until I tried to install the seatpost. It wouldn’t quite fit.
I grabbed a hammer and a block of wood and started pounding. I finally got the post a half-inch into the seat tube. Mostly because I’d ripped an inch-long gash down the tube. Uh-oh.
I returned the frame to the shop. There I learned that seatposts come in different sizes and that you don’t actually die of embarrassment — even if you want to.
Another big foul-up came while racing in a criterium. I got dropped and was soon riding alone. Head down, I rounded a corner, sprinted . . . and slammed into a car. Not a moving car, mind you. A car that had been parked there all day.
The road rash healed fast and I soon got another new bike. But it was years before I could go on a group ride without some comedian yelling, “Watch out, Scott — parked car ahead!”
There’s more, of course. Like my “chocolate skim milk is the perfect athletic food” debacle. And the infamous bike/roof rack/garage incident. I could go on. Unfortunately, I did.
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.