As the weather warms up here in eastern Iowa the trails and byways are flooded with a certain breed of cyclist not seen in other parts of the world…RAGBRAI guy. From about mid-June until the actual event begins in July travelling packs of cyclists will clog whatever path you are trying to ply and look at you with disdain when you attempt to pass their travelling circus.
Here’s the thing, no matter how much you claim to be advancing the notion of cycling as a mainstream recreational pursuit—something that does not require your assistance by the way—you’re actually a bad actor. Let me count the ways:
- A jersey from RAGBRAI does not entitle you to any special benefits from any other rider on the trail. It’s not a magic totem. There are thousands of us who put in just as many miles per year, if not more, and have no desire to spend our summer pretending to be part of a human powered gypsy caravan. Stop acting like you are the be all and end all of two wheeled fun in the Midwest.
- Riding three wide a few rows deep on a recreational trail is an asshole move. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. I do not care that this is Team Ball Sack or whatever your clever clothing is supposed to indicate. You do not own the trail any more than the Hells Angels own the road.
- No one wants to be submitted to the sonic stylings from your modern day ghetto blaster strapped to the handlebars of your bike. You cannot hear me clearly when I am trying to pass you and the Grateful Dead suck. Save the jam band session for when you stop to crush a few Natty Lights.
- Don’t throw stones because your behavior leaves you residing in a glass shack. Lecturing other people on the trail about their behavior when you are a horde of locusts is just bad form.
Come the third week of July the trails and byways will be clear of these creatures as they spend the better part of a summer vacation rolling from town to town in search of a shower just above the temperature of a well digger’s ass on the shady side and a cold can of light American swill. Just imagine the collective stink of thousands of people sweating out a twelve pack of Busch Light mixed with the eau de nut cheese.
I cannot wait until July 18th.