Enjoy the ride

November 10, 2015 § 33 Comments

On Sunday I went to a club banquet with Sausage. I rode over to his place, changed into my clean t-shirt and jeans that were clean a couple of weeks ago, and climbed into the passenger seat of his Fahrvergnuegenwagen 12-cylinder hi-performance luxury SUV.

The seats were leather. The dash was leather. The radio was leather. And when he pushed down on the gas pedal the Fahrvergnuegenwagen jumped like a stallion straining at the reins. We went around corners smoothly, the leather suspension absorbing LA’s terrible potholes as if they were mere pockmarks.

I sank back into the leather commander’s chair and rubbed my feet against the leather floor mats. Such a difference from my Prius, with its 142,039 miles and in which everything is made not from leather but from bits and pieces of plastic. I imagined the glory of sporting around town in that Fahrvergnuegenwagen, gaily hopping out of the leather driver’s seat in my leather pants, handing a leathery $20 to the garkon, doffing my leather porkpie hat to the girls all clad in leather, and taking the elevator up to my office on the penthouse suite.

But reality jolted me back when we passed a sagging Prius as it huffed and puffed its way up a 2% grade. I looked in the window at the penny-pinched fellow in his mid-40’s, hunched over the wheel, racked and smacked by every crack in the road as he anxiously re-calculated how many hundreds of thousands of Prius miles he’d have to drive to save enough money for the first two months of his son’s first year in college.

Or maybe not. Maybe he was simply Priusing because he liked small and he liked being able to park on something smaller than the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln and he didn’t even have any kids or want any and the money he saved on gas he used to buy full carbon wheels that were made of 100% carbon.

I smiled and waved at him as we passed, which was highly unnatural, and what was odder, he smiled and waved back.

“Who am I,” I thought, “to judge someone by the car he drives?”

Which brings us to Santa Barbara, where they have a big morning weekend ride filled with bicyclists who are not only important, but who are terribly impressed with their own importance. Or rather, Importance. Best, IMPORTANCE.

This will sound unbelievable when I write it, but they express their IMPORTANCE by heckling riders going the other direction who have dared to venture out on their bicycles without conforming to the Dress and Equipment Code. Happy bicyclists who pass these IMPORTANT riders are verbally abused for being fat, or for riding dorky bikes, or for wearing the wrong things.

They have vented their IMPORTANCE at ordinary riders and extraordinary ones, pack behavior and poor manners exhibited by fellows whose life necessities are paid for by mommy and daddy and whose career trajectories surely include podium steps at the Tour or at least Ontario.

The traffic suddenly snarled and the Prius was stuck in a stopped lane. Sausage eased off the gas and let the Prius in. They exchanged waves.

“Now how hard was that?” I thought.

For the Santa Barbarians, it’s apparently hard. Very, very hard.



For $2.99 per month you can subscribe to this blog. And if you don’t want to do that, at least wave. Click here and select the “subscribe” link in the upper right-hand corner. Thank you!

Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

§ 33 Responses to Enjoy the ride

  • BigBug says:

    So much leather; so little time.

  • Sandy says:

    It does seem different there. Here when we pass other cyclists (whatever their dress or size or bike brand), going in any direction, our club always waves, yells hello or “How are we doing!”. Perhaps we are not important enough… Or perhaps it is just Upstate NY. Come on out guys and girls – we got plenty of water!

    • fsethd says:

      We have plenty of friendly people in SoCal, but it only takes a handful of pricks to dampen the atmosphere. Don’t they understand that when you’re an adult riding a bicycle in your underwear you already look stupid?

      Answer: No, they don’t.

  • dangerstu says:

    Oh come on Seth, this time you have crossed the line, don’t you know that these are serious Cyclists, doing what serious cyclists do, some one has to defend the proper etiquette, imagine the global death toll and the numbers of people being forced to sleep in the streets, if Just one person were to wear the glasses under there helmet straps, oh the shame.

  • Winemaker says:

    I went on a SDBC club rides 10+ years ago. i saw a few old timers there and we chatted in friendly tones, catching up, etc. As we rolled out from a re-group spot one time, a woman (you know her!) and I bumped, and she sneered at me and called me “Fred”. One of my old pals told her to STFU, and to respect her elders, blah blah….then told me that the Swami’s ride was even more full of holier-than-thou professional wanna-be’s. So I did that ride the next three weeks or so, and he was right. So I tried the Cyclo-Vets ride, and even they were snobby and elitist. So now I ride with my dog or go to races with a pal and enjoy the SPORT, forgetting about the small percentage of narcissistic bloatheads who think they’re all that. It is about the ride. Oh, and I read your shit, too.

    • fsethd says:

      Riding with dogs and other even-keeled beings. Gibby Hatton has been derided for his appearance, he of the three world titles in three classements. So fuck those people.

  • Jah Slim says:

    On one Eurosport Ride we got to the end of Loyola Ln where it t-intersects with Hwy 973 and Fields loudly proclaims “We’re going left and y’all (pointing at my group of non PRO riders) are going right.” And we all did.

  • Spinner says:

    I was hating the leather scene until you got to the girls and penthouse part.

    Well, one could ask the elitist group if one of them is world champion and perhaps that person could look down on fellow cyclists. My personal experience on rides with several world champions is that they were polite, respectful, and encouraging to ALL fellow cyclists.

  • tb says:

    i tend to find what i’m looking for – happy, friendly riders. i think psychologists call it projection.

  • Sausage™ says:

    Alas, the German techno totally leather disco S&M Fahrvergnuegenwagen wundercär with full leather bondage belts will soon go away in favor of a minivan. Which reminds me, I need to call Manslaughter. When your to-do list includes talking to a dude named Manslaughter about buying minivan so that you can drive around multiple babies in carseats, you know you’ve ended up in a very strange place in life.

    • fsethd says:

      Hahahahaha! I’m in the market for a Fahrvergnuegenwagen + bondage seats, and I even had a check with me for $20 this morning! Unfortunately, you were going up VdM so quickly and I was going down so quickly I decided to give you the down payment next time our wheels cross.

      Wait, crossing wheels is bad, right?

  • sydney says:

    Was turned onto your blog via Tilford’s. Thank you for the grins and occasional guffaw. It shocks me that there is an entire group that condones such unwelcoming behavior towards other cyclists. You don’t know who the next Evie Stevens might be.

    “She liked riding. She liked going fast. She didn’t know anything about bicycle technology, and didn’t particularly care. She ended up with a maroon Cannondale, aluminum, with a triple chainring and a huge granny gear in back to help her up steep hills. It cost $1,000. She would ride a few times a week up the bike path next to the West Side Highway, early in the morning, then she would do a few loops around Central Park. It was still winter, and it was cold, but she loved the feel of freedom, and the speed, and she loved pushing herself up the hills.”

    from “Happily Evie After”, by Steve Friedman

    • fsethd says:

      Thank you! It is pretty lame, a bunch of wannabe-wishitwas posers who think that there’s a right way, or who think it’s fun or funny to belittle others, or who think that bike racing or faux bike racing make them better than anyone else. In elementary school we had a word for people who traveled in bunches and picked on others. I think we called them “bullies.”

  • channel_zero says:

    Roadies that are d-bags? I’ve never seen that before.

    If only the pleasant riders could somehow counterbalance the d-bags, then I think I’d be motivated to do competitive group rides again. Life is just too short for d-bag nonsense.

    I guess I better get the full carbon kit now with more carbon before I visit Santa Barbara again.

    • fsethd says:

      I know! Shocking! (PS: I also heard that Lance doped!)

    • Sausage™ says:

      I’ve always thought the baller move was to be the guy who, in the middle of the full gas competitive group ride, is waving at oncoming cyclists (while maintaining a nice grip on the bars and a razor-straight line), saying hi to those in the group, smiling, etc. while those around him are dying 1,000 painful deaths, unable to mutter an intelligible syllable. See, e.g., G$.

  • kiwijetjock says:

    Sent from my Samsung device

  • Dave says:

    I feel welcomed into the fold. Full gas groups don’t snarl, on your left anymore.

  • Uses BeFit says:

    Only takes 1 turd in the pickle jar as they say in the south. True friends stab each other in the front!

What’s this?

You are currently reading Enjoy the ride at Cycling in the South Bay.


%d bloggers like this: