Gapped out

July 14, 2017 § 48 Comments

I was talking to this bike racer about a bike race that the bike racer had raced. During the bike race, the bike racer hadn’t raced very well; he had had all kinds of race problems that prevented his bike race from resulting in trinkets and socks.

“So, what happened?” I asked. “Before the race you were pretty confident.”

“Yeah, my legs were great.”

“That’s what you said.”

“I had finished up a block of hard training, three weeks, did my rest week, had a good one-hour warm-up on the trainer, did a few leg openers the day before the race at 80%, this was a good course for me, a hard man’s course, that’s what I’m good at, really hard courses.”

“So what happened?”

“I was going great and then I got gapped out.”


“Yeah. The pace had picked up on the hill and this dude in front of me gapped me out.”

“Then what?”

“There was no ‘then what.’ That dude caused me to lose the race. I got gapped out. The peloton got away.”

I walked back to my car and thought about this bike racer’s pithy analysis. I’ve heard it often enough. Everything would have been so peachy if he just hadn’t gotten gapped out. By someone else. Someone too weak to hold a wheel. Some wanker.

Then I realized that what he was trying to say was “I got dropped,” but was using this time-honored phrase to blame it on someone else. And I understand. Getting dropped is horrible. It is the equivalent of getting culled from the herd and being pulled down by a cheetah, who sinks its fangs into your throat.

Getting dropped is ostracism.



It is the symbol and expression of failing to keep the pace and suffering the blow of the heavy club against your soft and luxurious baby seal pelt.

Cycling has lots of interesting words and phrases, so I decided to put them all down here for easy reference. The next time someone uses one of them you’ll know exactly what the rider means.

  1. I got gapped out = I got dropped
  2. It’s a rest week = I got dropped
  3. Those idiots had no idea how to do a paceline = I got dropped
  4. I did intervals yesterday = I got dropped
  5. I’m on a new diet = I got dropped
  6. I’m training with power now = I got dropped
  7. This dude took me off the back = I got dropped
  8. I took a super hard pull into the wind = I got dropped
  9. I’m in a build phase = I got dropped
  10. It’s the off season = I got dropped
  11. Coach told me to stay in Zone 3 = I got dropped
  12. People kept surging = I got dropped
  13. Guys were taking way too many risks in the turns = I got dropped
  14. Their whole team was working against me = I got dropped
  15. I was just there to help my teammates = I got dropped
  16. I’m a sprinter = I got dropped
  17. It’s a stupid training race = I got dropped
  18. They’re all doping = I got dropped
  19. I don’t see anyone pinning on a number = I got dropped
  20. I got dropped [never before heard, meaning indeterminate]



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§ 48 Responses to Gapped out

  • Redacted says:

    My teammates chased be down . . .

  • Redacted says:

    I’m tapering for later in the season . . .

  • Redacted says:

    I only brought my 12-25. If I would have had my 11-23 . . .

    People still ride 10 speed right? Carbon?

  • Sibex Czar says:

    I took a pull and we were echeloned, and the back was wild like a loose fire hose, and I just couldn’t recover trying to hang onto that => I got dropped.

  • Brian in VA says:

    Hmmm. I’m doing it wrong. I prefer to say how I was dropped.

    Like a bad habit.
    Like a plate of vegetables by a 10 year old.
    Like a prom dress.
    Like a sack of potatoes.

  • Waldo says:

    Untimely (actually timely) puncture.

  • LD says:

    Squirrel/rabbit/loose dog/child/unseen-something-that-looked-scary on the course that made me swerve/brake/sit up/bunny hop/hit the curb/fall down go boom

  • Fausto says:

    Brilliant! Just found out my 100% Carbon Fiber bike made of 100% Carbon Fiber really was 98%, 100% Carbon Fiber. The 2% of 100% Aluminum/Titanium got me dropped.

  • chris says:

    I got boxed in during the sprint… (don’t look at the pictures to see I came out of the corner 30th)

  • Todd says:

    My super-domestique pulled way too hard then attacked me on the 20% ramp to the finish line

  • krakatoaeastofjava (Patrick Mannion) says:

    Not gapped. Not dropped. “Abandoned.”

  • dangerstu says:

    I did a race last Saturday, for the first 15 miles I was in the front group, feeling pretty good having fun, then we hit the first real climb, I got dropped.

    • fsethd says:

      Please don’t put it like that. What you mean is you were overgeared and got gapped out. Standards here at Wanky, Inc. are few, but we do insist that you not write obscenely.

  • Sausage™ says:

    Thank you for providing me with my next 20 Strava ride titles. Once again, the subscription pays for itself.

  • This morning we were on our tandem doing our best at 20mph southbound into a gentle headwind on the San Gabriel River Bike Trail. I felt the “turbo-boost” from my wife, which from experience means someone is catching up to us. A few seconds later I saw a guy riding a bike that looked like it was a high-tech TT rig – maybe 20 years ago. He was in street shorts and a floppy t-shirt. The bike sounded like it was stuck between two gears.

    Then… we got dropped.

    • fsethd says:

      Are you sure it wasn’t a rest week?

    • krakatoaeastofjava (Patrick Mannion) says:

      Dude probably gave it everything he had to pass you. Just curious, did he give a little wave, or even a head nod?

      • There was no wave, nod, middle finger or anything.

        He may have given a lot to pass us, but not everything. In fact, he slowed down a little after he passed us, but even at that slightly reduced pace, he still continued to slowly pull away from us. That’s OK, because it’s our “Rest Week”.

        In other words, we got dropped!

        • fsethd says:

          It’s your rest week, that’s why he gapped you out. Please leave off the obscenities in that last line. Thank you.

    • “Rest Week”… I like that!

      You see, my wife and I *think* we’re fast, because we usually pass everyone we see.

      However, once in a while we encounter someone who is *actually* fast. Next time that happens, we’ll declare a “rest week”.

  • Jah Slim says:

    DNF is better than DNS.

  • dangerstu says:

    I did a race last week, for the first 15 miles I was in the front group, then we hit the first real climb, I got dropped, I’ve never been in the front group before so I was expecting it. Had a great time while it lasted and then went back to riding my regular ride in the country side. I did diet for like 3 days though afterwards.

    • fsethd says:

      Please stop using this “I got dropped” obscenity. This is a family blog.

      • dangerstu says:

        I lulled the group in to false sense of security, by allowing then to think they were better climbers than I, little did they know how well my cunning plan would work, as I passed a whole bunch of them while the staggered along suffering from heat stroke / puking / not knowing where the hell they were. Better ?

        • fsethd says:

          Yes, but a bit shorter, more pithy, more knowing, more expert, such as: “Wanker gapped me out,” “Gapped out by a fuggin’ wanker,” or perhaps “Gapped.”

      • dangerstu says:

        Skinny wankers gapped me on the climb, but I got the last laugh as I passed then puking in the sand.

        I want to get this down in case I race again and want to sound all profamature, thanks for the pointers.

        • fsethd says:

          You bet. Those $2.99 subscribers always get the inside Wanky poop. “Skinny wankers gapped me on the climb,” five stars.

  • Gary Cziko says:

    Whenever I come back from a race or NPR and my better half asks me how it was, I have one of two answers:

    1. I got dropped.
    2. I didn’t get dropped.

    End of conversation.

    I have now gotten my percentage of no. 2 over 50%, and I’m happy ’bout that!

    • fsethd says:

      Wow, please learn to speak proper cyclese. “I got gapped out by a baby seal,” etc. Thank you!

  • JF (PGT™) says:

    I was on my MTB :0)

  • Op E says:

    It rained early and the road was wet, and I didn’t want to get caught in the spurt from their tires

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