Blog on Cycling 2
I originally posted this in July of 2006. Since then, my mileage has increased to about 100 miles a week. However, I feel just as “treme” as I did back then and thought it would be funny to re-post this here … enjoy!
This is the second blog dealing with the sport of extreme (or simply treme) bicycling. In this blog, I’d like to cover a few areas of proper etiquette when riding on semi-crowded trails or when riding with a partner.
It occurs to me that I am probably the most treme (which, by the way, is the term describing a mediocre version of extreme) bicycler I know. Let me clarify that.
- While extreme bikers put in 70 to 100 miles a week on their bike, us treme bikers put in about 40 to 50.
- While extreme bikers have a whole assortment of serious injuries related to biking, we tremers have only to worry about hitting your hand on a metal sign post during a ride (which happened to me last week, by the way).
- While extreme bikers talk about forks and the best brand of gears to use, treme bikers talk about the best deal they can get for a brand they recognize (such as Trek, Giant, or even Huffy) and call it good.
- While extreme bikers actually get sponsored by companies to wear their logos on their riding clothes, we tremers buy riding gear with said logos to look as though we are sponsored.
Most bikers on trails around town are more in the treme category than the extreme category, which is good because its easy to relate to treme riders theyre all very similar.
Here are a few rules in dealing with fellow treme riders:
- Every treme rider dreams of being an extreme rider. It’s true: we tremers actually wish that we were Lance Armstrong. We daydream about riding hundreds of miles to glory, fame, and Sheryl Crow. We also have a tendency to talk up our riding mileage a bit when talking to other tremers. Typical conversation:
“I ride about 40 miles a week.” “Well I ride about 45 miles a week.” “You should have seen me last summer! I was putting in 50 miles a week!” etc.
- When passing another rider on a trial, you are obligated to respond; and that response should be proportional to the treme level of the other biker. When you pass another biker, you must quickly size them up. If they look more like Lance Armstrong than you, you are obligated to at least raise a finger to signify your submission to their obviously greater level of closer-to-extremeness than yours. However, if they look more like the fat kid getting his first Huffy at Sams, you are only obligated to look in their direction.
- You must be faster than all bikers less treme than you. Put simply, this means that if an older biker, significantly younger biker, a biker with an inferior bike, or any combination thereof passes you on a trail, you suck. You must be constantly aware of your environment and keep that from happening. If it does happen, you can cover for it by reaching down to your water bottle and pretend you were taking it easy for the moment they passed you. However, this only works if you then pass said biker and continue to stay ahead of him / her for the duration of your time together on the same trail.
- When riding in any size group, make sure you let everyone know youre taking it easy for the day. This works very well if you place an extreme sounding story in front of your statement. For example, “Man, yesterdays [exaggerated mileage] ride really worked me. I think Im going to take it easy today.” This actually does two things for you:
- If you have trouble keeping up with your riding buddies, you have effectively covered your butt. Everyone expected it anyway.
- If you end up having a good day and leading the pack, you have demonstrated that your level of extremeness is much higher than theirs because, even taking it easy, you’ve outperformed them.
That’s it for this blog. Hopefully, your social biking skills have benefitted in some way from the aforementioned ramblings!