There’s something about a girl on a bike, especially a new girl on a bike, and especially especially a new young girl on a bike, that makes crusty old curmudgeons want to teach ’em how to ride.
I call these dudes advice sausages.
They are rarely if ever actively competing in bike races. They were never any good, even though they’ll talk your ear off about how racing was “back in the day.” They’ve certainly never successfully coached or mentored a younger rider, and most telling, when the pace picks up on the local sausagefest they’re the very first wankers to fry in the pan and pop off the back.
But boy can they tell them new gals how to ride.
She’s young enough to be your granddaughter. Oh, never mind. That’s a plus for you, right?
As everyone knows, unsolicited advice goes in one ear and out the other. But unsolicited corrective advice engenders anger. As one rider told me, “I just have to ignore what these old guys tell me. There are one or two who make any sense at all. The rest are morons.”
I think she was exaggerating. I’ve yet to find even two who make any sense; Dog knows I don’t. But her point is a good one, if only because it illustrates the annoying uselessness of Ol’ Backintheday and his prattling advice about shit he knows nothing about.
Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach. Those who can’t even teach ride around and bother people.
Use a bigger gear! Spin more! Sit when you climb! Get out of the saddle on the ascents!
The thing that really cracks me up about the advice sausages who share their wisdom with this one particular chick is that she’s a former national caliber, NCAA Division I athlete. So while I can understand, while condemning, Ol’ Backintheday’s lame advice to some struggling wankette who’s barely able to ride a straight line, it boggles the mind that a sag-bellied doofus would try to advise a former elite distance runner about training methods…or anything, for that matter.
What was funniest about today was that the runner biker chick led out the climb up the reservoir for the first mile and dropped all but three or four guys. Advice sausage was farther back than the last century.
Advice sausages, though, don’t care if they’ve been dropped or if the object of their advice is an accomplished athlete. They equate “new” with “stupid,” “chick” with “helpless,” and “decrepit old gummer” with “Dog’s gift to the ladies.”
Of course, the true advice sausages are equal opportunity idiots. They’ll share their stupitude with anyone. If you let them.
The heavy responsibility of advice
It strikes me as odd that people aren’t more careful with their advice, especially us old sausages. The older I get, the more I realize what a complete dumbfuck I am. Three years ago I couldn’t speak a complete sentence without throwing in a reference to “power-based training” or “WKO+” or “functional threshold power.”
Today, being just as slow as I was then, if not slower, I’ve jettisoned everything, including the damned Garmin.
And I’m gonna pretend to lecture someone about how to train better? Ride faster? Win races?
As an old sausage myself, I can sometimes hardly help myself, like at TELO last week when New Girl was losing ten bike lengths every time she went around a turn. As I passed her, I said, “PEDAL through the turns!”
I had enough confidence to at least say that, although in retrospect, when someone is gassed and pounding to catch back up and the line is turning into a nasty, narrow, single-file, yelling advice at them is pretty stupid.
New Girl, though, thanked me later.
Hmmm…next time I see that other chick, maybe I’ll tell her what I think about her Q factor.