Team Lizard Collectors got into a big dust ’em up on the Facebag yesterday over bicycle yelling, or shoutypantsing, as I like to call it.
It seems that Dear Leader ruffled a few rectums with his repeated hollerings. Some felt that being a shoutypants was bad form. Some thought that being a shoutypants was necessary for the survival of the group. Some thought that being called a shoutypants was retribution enough and we should move on to whether or not it was more patriotic to stand for the National Slavery Anthem, kneel for the National Slavery Anthem, or tsk-tsk as Puerto Rico sank beneath the flood without so much as a ripple.
As background, the Team Lizard Collectors Sunday Bicycle Ride And Educational Clinic And Primal Scream Therapy Group Thingy leaves every Sunday from CotKU at 7:00-ish, pedals over to PCH, and then runs an orderly boot camp all the way out to Cross Creek.
The riders who sit on the front are called “Horsemen.” No, I didn’t make that up. If I had made it up I would have called them “chevaliers” or perhaps “chevaliers-errant.”
Anyway, there is much discipline and order in the ranks and different people have job descriptions which must be earned through fealty and acts of derring-do such as the aforementioned chevaliers-errant, as well as “gatekeepers,” “sweepers,” and of course Dear Leader. The Team Lizard Collectors SBRAECAPSTGT also has a set of rules that are set forth in the Book of Peloton 101, and it goes like this:
- On the first day Team Lizard Collectors, henceforth known as TLC, created wanker and it was good.
- On the second day wanker discovered PCH and rode in the gutter and it was bad.
- On the third day Dear Leader got Wanky’s lane control religion and began taking the lane, and it was fuggin’ awesome.
- On the fourth day TLC grew from 10 members to about 600 and it was unmanageable, to put it mildly.
- On the fifth day it was fuggin’ mayhem on PCH, and it was scary AF.
- On the sixth day Dear Leader decreed that everyone shall ride 2×2 at prescribed pace using prescribed cadence with prescribed wattage for prescribed duration according to such ranks and titles as Dear Leader may bequeath, and that each baby wanker shall learn the Holy Ways of the Mystic Peloton, and it was humbling.
- On the seventh day Dear Leader realized that his charges were all a bunch of fuggin’ dumbasses and began yelling at them continuously, and it was a harsh reality slap in the face for them.
- On the eighth day they all got butt hurt, and it was Charmin.
- On the ninth day Dear Leader DGAF, ‘cuz that was the way it was gonna be.
- On the tenth day everyone was issued a copy of Dear Leader’s Holy Weekly Training Plan with wattage, and it was a boon for cycling Internet coaches everywhere.
- On the eleventh day everyone started getting nervous for the upcoming fourteenth day, and it was loose bowels.
- On the twelfth day everyone studied the manual like crazy, and it was anxious.
- On the thirteenth day no one slept worth a shit.
- On the fourteenth day it all started over again, and that’s how it hath always been.
Anyway, after several years some people became unhappy about the yelling, to which Dear Leader diplomatically said:
- I’m shoutypantsing so you can hear me.
- I’m shoutypantsing because you don’t do anything right, you stumblebum knuckleheads.
- I’d rather shoutypants and have you butthurt than not shoutypants and have you crash me out.
- If you don’t like it go the fuck somewhere else.
This response revealed a huge chasm in the wankoton. First, it showed that many riders wanted to have their wheel and suck it, too. They wanted to get pulled along PCH at 24 mph by the chevaliers, do no work, and then be fresh to ride up in the canyons. However, although they wanted a free ride, they didn’t want to be subject to Dear Leader’s shoutypantsing.
Second, it showed that even after years of careful instruction, many of the lizard collectors still needed to be shoutypantsed. Thoughtful thinkers might conclude that the pedagogy was flawed, the instructors were ill-trained, the students were hopeless, or some combination of the above.
Third, repeated choruses of love expressed on the ‘Bag for Dear Leader’s methods showed that a frightening percentage of the adult lizard collecting population thought that being yelled at was a normal part of a fun recreational activity. [Note to self: Begin developing Shoutypants Podcast #1, suggested retail price $2.98/mo.]
I didn’t know what to make of the whole thing. It had been obvious for years that if you wanted to do the TLC SBRAECAPSTGT, you were gonna have to follow the SBRAECAPSTGT rules. It was also obvious that if you didn’t like the rules, well, PCH seemed like a pretty big street and it seemed more or less public, so why not do your own ride?
However, the thing that seemed weird to me was that shoutypantsing would be a normal part of a regular ride. In my adult life, to the extent that I have one, no one shouts at me. When I was a kid, though, people shouted at me all the time. “Goddammit, Seth!” was a favorite around the homestead, followed by “Shut up!” and “What did you say?” and “You’re in for it now!” and a whole bunch of phrases that even now get my blood pressure up just writing them.
Combine that with the fact that pretty much everyone on the SBRAECAPSTGT is an adult as well as a person who’s somewhat accomplished in life, and it struck me as odd that on one of the two days off each week that you have to ride, you’d choose to do it in an environment where repeated yelling, for whatever the reason, was a guaranteed item on the menu. It probably explained why a whole bunch of the lizard collectors who have been around awhile and who might have something to offer didn’t ever bother to show up.
But as I learned a long time ago, cycling is everyone’s vector to somewhere else. If I can get to my happy place with a minimum of yelling, though, that’s the path I think I’ll take.
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PS: Don’t forget the Wanky’s. As if you could. And I may have forgotten to mention that there is free food and beer for the first 300 guests, so get there early.