If there is one thing I hate about the Philadelphia cycling scene, it would be the road riders who think they are “all that” on the path.
I truly hate riding and passing people on the path. Every time you pass someone, that is potentially a person who you are going to piss off and who is going to hop on your wheel and try to pass you right back.
As I left my house yesterday for a nice leisurely ride I saw someone coming down the hill just as I was about to enter the bike lane. Being the nice guy I am, I let him go off ahead that way I didn’t slow him down. As we go down and up the hills just before you get onto the Schuylkill River Trail, the guy is riding slow. I figure, its just some random old dude and I want to go faster, so “on your left” I go. About five minutes after that, and I settle into my ride pace, the guy comes up on my left side and passes me. Okay, I think. No big deal, maybe he is doing intervals or something. Or maybe that was his rest period. However, he dosn’t blow past me and keep going. No. He gets in front of me and starts riding all slow again.
Seriously. What the hell. I’m not out here to play games. I’m not here to race you. I don’t think I’m better than you. I just want to do my workout, and let you do your workout. Don’t screw around with me and just pass me for the sake of implying that you are in any way better than me.
So, a little pissed off, and continuing to do my workout, I pass him again. But this time I’m a little annoyed, so I turn up the speed a bit. The entire time I am doing this I think he is on my wheel, just waiting for the moment to pass me again. After about thirty minutes, I decided it was time to turn around, and I take a peek. He’s not there. Pleased with myself I turn around and hope I don’t see the guy for the rest of the day.
On the way back in, I see the guy stopped, on the side of the road taking a break. Crap. He sees me and I figure he is going to hop back on and try to pass me on the way back in. This causes me to ride extra hard just to make it to the final hills before him. You see, I’m better than most on hill climbs and figured I could easily destroy him if I made it there first. Luckily he was no where near me on the ride back home.
Unfortunately this guy caused me to not enjoy my ride and to become very frustrated for no good reason. He won. Instead of doing the workout I wanted to do, I played games the entire afternoon. It’s these people th seriously bother me about cycling. Not to stereotype or anything, but these tend to be the people who spend $10k on a bike, dress up in full team kit and are in their early forties. If you happen to see one on the road, be careful of your next move. It could be the start of a race you didn’t even know you entered.