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Blog / News

BLOG: That Guy

Shannon Williams

I was out on a ride yesterday, laughing about some funny posts that a facebook friend had been putting up. How to not be 'that guy'. It was pretty lighthearted and fun, pointing out some of the ridiculous things that road cyclists do or say-like asking a group ride for a leadout into a Strava KOM or talking incessantly about wattage-the same kind of thing as the "Sh!t Cyclists Say" youtube videos.
It got me thinking about The Rules( The rules, for those who haven't seen them and don't have an hour right now to go through and read them all, are a tongue in cheek guide to being cool on a bike. Now, the rules are hilarious, and heaven knows that we all need a style and behavior guide from time to time-some of us more than others. But what kills me is that, once some of us get to the point where we're not only aware of the rules but not breaking most of them, we tend to forget our humble beginnings. We take the rules too seriously and we forget that MANY of us have broken them-and we look down on those poor souls who are currently in violation.
So I'd like to confess. I've probably broken most, if not all. Have I worn my sunglasses on the inside of my helmet straps? I didn't even know it was a thing until I read the rules. Yes. Have I worn all kinds of mountain bike equipment on my road bike? Oh, man-absolutely. Not only have I done that, but I have showed up on a ride-a GROUP ride-with black mountain bike shoes, mountain bike pedals,  hairy legs, a solid jersey, clip-on aero bars, and a camelback. All at the same time.  I would not be surprised to hear that I had my helmet on backwards that day.  I wish I was kidding, but I'm not. The best part is that while I was riding over to meet my soon to be embarrassed friends, I was probably thinking, "Mmmmm-hmm. That's right. Check it out, ladies-serious cyclist coming through".  I could not have been more proud or confident. When I did get to the ride, my friends, to their credit, didn't act like they didn't know me. But they didn't wait around when I got dropped, either. Thank goodness I had the Camelback.
My point is this: we all had to start somewhere. I guess some people just figure things out more quickly than others, but for the most part, if you get a few drinks into most stylish racer types, you can get them to confess that they used to be a blatant rule-breaker.
So...I think we should all try to remember that. The next time I'm tempted to judge somebody based on the placement of their helmet straps, or sock height, or how well their sunglasses fit into their helmet holes, I'm going to remember that I have made every possible style and behavior mistake on a bicycle. The only guy I definitely don't want to be is the guy that doesn't remember how goofy he used to be. -RKB