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A modestly humorous piece that ran in Cyclist Magazine, and if you want the date, tough.
Too bad about the humor, too. What are you paying for this anyway?
Copyright 1989, Charles Kelly
"Hey, Ed, check that guy out. This must be the first century ride he's ever done. I mean, can you believe that bike? It looks like the one they give you free when you buy the stereo."
"Yeah, and by the sound of that chain, he hasn't oiled it since day one. He's getting more noise out of that chain than he'll ever get from the stereo."
"You got that right. Hey, Ed, Mr. Macho has steel cranks, yet. When was the last time a serious rider used those? I'll bet he thinks Campagnolo is a liver disease, and aluminum bike parts are the work of the Devil."
"Steel handlebars and rims too. He's toting a lot of iron. Looks like his tires are a littler low, too. He'd go a lot faster if he pumped up his tires."
"For him, that bike's just something to have fun on. Guys like us, we take pride in our bikes."
"The setups on cheap bikes amaze me. Look at the cluster: 14-36, with a 52/40 up front and 165 millimeter cranks. It looks like it was put together from the sweepings on the factory floor. And the position! Saddle too low, stem four inches too long, and somebody sold the poor slob a frame two inches too small."
"Hey, Ed, if he ever discovers toe clips, he might be dangerous. The reason that guys us are more efficient riders is because we know about position and equipment."
"If the bike's funny, what about the costume? Wait until the wind picks up and he finds out how warm that t-shirt isn't."
"Hey, Ed, it's his version of a fashion statement. The effect I like is the knee socks and sneakers. He looks like he left a touch football game for this ride."
"Naw, the baseball cap gives it away. It was a softball game. He probably thinks that when you turn it around backwards like that, it magically becomes a regulation bicycle helmet."
"You know, Ed, he looks like a strong fella. He might turn into a good rider if some experienced guys like us were willing to take him in hand and show him a few things about the sport."
"I don't know if I would ever have time for a project like that. After he learned something about equipment and clothing, he'd need a lot of coaching. Muscles he has, style he ain't. He's practically pedaling with his heels."
"You read my mind, Ed. It's because he's in a giant gear and because the seat is too low and too far forward. Why is it that beginning riders always ride in a gear twenty inches too high? See how he rocks from side to side. Guys like us, we're smooth."
"It makes him feel macho. If you point out to them that they're working too hard, and that they should shift down and learn to spin more effectively, they tell you that they do it for the exercise anyway, so 'what's wrong with working a little harder?' He could learn a thing or two from guys like us."
"He's really a masochist, isn't he? Hey Ed, at least he has something good going for himself. If there's one thing guys like us learn, it's how to suffer. We can take pain, and we can dish it out."
"I feel sorry for the guy. People who get into the sport the way he is can't get into it right. They ride cheap bikes that don't fit or work too well, they wear uncomfortable clothing, they don't listen to guys like us who want to give them a few hints on what they're doing wrong. And to top it all off, they take on a tough ride like this one that's too long for their ability."
"Yeah, Ed, those are the people who say, 'I tried cycling, but it wasn't for me.' The bike winds up in the garage with two flat tires that they never get around to fixing, the chain rusts itself into a piece of re-bar, and then it finally gets lent to the neighbor kid who gets it barely running and totals it inside a week."
"Somebody should do him a favor and slip a cycling magazine under his door. Maybe if he stumbled across some information accidentally, he'd see some of the stuff he's doing wrong."
"Quiet, I think he heard you."
"I don't think we're going to catch him.
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