Two things I’ve largely left out of my bike-life for a while now are cyclocross and other human beings. Saturday I decided to revisit both at once.
It didn’t go that well. While it’s true that I raced my Taiwanese-knockoff CX bike for two years, it’s also true that I spent the subsequent two years rehabbing my hip like a grandma. I recall the connection only now, of course, that I’m again writhing around on the floor with the foam roller.
As for the reason I stopped riding with other people once I got slow, well:
|Your location||Your crime against me|
|Behind me||You’re on my ass. You’re rushing me.|
|Next to me||You’re soft-pedaling and/or not breathing as hard as I am. You’re showing off.|
|Directly in front of me||You’re blocking my line. You made me mess this uuuuupppppp!|
|Farther in front of me||You’re dragging me up this stupid hill. You put this hill here, didn’t you?|
|Out of sight||You’re waiting for me and now I can’t stop to Instagram these flowers.|
So as you can see, I’m a real joy to gain elevation with. Saturday’s victim endured a hissy fit at the top of Mt. Tam: first I tried to get him to leave and do his own ride; when this didn’t work I insisted on going home. Because I also hate out-and-backs and was additionally annoyed by the prospect of pavement (…), this meant crossing the road to descend Eldridge Grade. A mountain biker waiting at the top raised an eyebrow. “It’s a bit … boulder-y,” he offered, cautiously. “WHATEVER,” I said. “WE’RE GOING.”
This was where I recalled what I do like about my cross bike. The following guide applies to all two-wheeled purchases:
The Motobecane hurts me, but at least I can’t hurt it.
Unclear if I can say the same thing of my ride buddy. “Now I’m having fun!” I announced to him, halfway down Eldridge. I’d stopped to shake out my wrists from a few miles of death-grip braking. If he was rolling his eyes at me by then I couldn’t see it, because I was at last in my happy place—out in front.