Friday, April 22, 2016

I Just Washed My Bike

Whenever he rolls through a puddle, my buddy Shim will lament, "I just washed my bike". He says it a lot. So much so that I believe that his bike must be the most washed bike in the city of Omaha, if not the entire state of Nebraska. I'm not kidding. It's like his personal mantra.

But I hear what he's saying. Rolling through a puddle after just washing your bike with Scrubbing Bubbles, or whatever he uses to do his thing, is kinda annoying. Really. I feel bad for him. It's true -- a little piece of my heart melts whenever I hear him grumbling about just washing his bike. As Bill Clinton so famously once said, "I feel your pain".

As an aside, Shim is a big fan of the Clintons, especially Mr Clinton. In fact, the only person Shim admires more than than Bill Clinton is Nancy Polosi.

Anyway, lately I've been thinking about some of the annoyances that get in the way of the ordinarily wonderful pastime of riding one's bicycle. You know, those things that just remind you that despite feeling like you're in heaven while riding you bike, you're really a mortal, stuck on earth, and in a fallen world. Sigh.

So here's the list of grievances that accompany cycling, in no particular order:

Dropping one's sunglasses from their helmet, resulting in a chipped lens directly in front of your line of vision.

Mechanicals. Unless it's a mercy-mechanical, where on a particularly hot and spicy ride, the entire group laments about having to stop while secretly being relieved to have been granted the mercy of a few moments of precious recovery.

FTP tests on bad weather days.

FTP tests on good weather days.

FTP tests. Period.

The Garmin Edge User Interface.

People who ride fast when you want to dawdle. Hi Shim.

People who dawdle when you want to ride fast. Hi to everyone else but Shim.

Wind. It blows around here. It's also quite windy.

Half-wheelers. We already abused Shim for that offense some time ago.

Wheel-suckers, especially the silent, unknown, uninvited tail-gunner picked up on the pedestrian trail.

The guy on the group ride who talks and talks and talks and talks...

Strava KOMs. Man, those things are really annoying.

Receiving a notice that one of your Strava KOMs has been taken. Definitely annoying.

Receiving a notice that one of your Strava KOMs has been taken by Jonathan Wait. The worst.

That solitary person walking on the pedestrian trail that intersects with you and the opposite approaching cyclist at exactly the same point and time.

A visit from Crashy McRoadrash. This one truly sucks, especially if you're laid up with a long recovery that only eating a tub of peppermint ice cream while watching the Giro feed can temporarily relieve. Get well and soon, B Redemske.

This list is by no means exhaustive, and taking a step back, most of these are petty grievances if you think about it.

Yes. Cycling is pure enjoyment. Today, let's end with a blessing, which I've adapted from my Gaelic ancestors

May the road rise up to meet you.
May a stiff tailwind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
and may the rain's puddles stay off your just washed bike
until we meet again, on our bikes, on the open road,
God's blessings to you. Amen

Thanks for reading. Happy Friday.


  1. I'm sorry for the KOM stuff. I'm really working on my impulse control. "KOMs are dumb". I say that every morning while looking in the mirror.

  2. Is that said before or immediately after pointing and flexing in front of said mirror?