For those in the bike industry, this one rings true.
Congratulations on the purchase of your brand-new high-end road bike. Along with a pie plate, a set of reflectors, and more legal disclaimers than a Levitra commercial, your bicycle also comes with certain inalienable rights, and simply purchasing and owning this bicycle confers these rights onto you. Be sure to know these rights and to act accordingly while operating your machine.
I) The Shop That Sold You The Bike Is Indebted To You Forever
Like libraries, Planned Parenthood clinics, and public restrooms, bike shops only exist for your convenience and betterment, and should not be expected to act in their own self-interest. As such, buying a bicycle at the end of the season for a 30% discount means the shop should demonstrate its gratitude to you for as long as you live. After all, between the substantial discount and the man-hours spent serving you and building the bicycle, they almost made a profit! Remind them of that every time they won’t fix something for free, or ask you to pay for a water bottle, or bother you as you spend three hours trying on clothes so you know what size Primal jersey to order from Performance.
II) You Can Now Race Absolutely Everybody
Owning a high-end road bike means you are now part of the largest bicycle race in the world. Always remember that everybody on a road bike is engaged in a race at all times. That guy who seems to be simply spinning his legs out after a 90-mile training ride is actually attempting to lure you into complacency so that when you ride by he can pounce and beat you to the next stoplight. Don’t let that happen! Other common ploys in which wily cyclists engage include: idly chatting with another rider; stopping to fix a flat; being hit by a car; and teaching a child how to ride. If you see another rider doing any of those things, attack immediately!
III) You Are Entitled To The Title Of Your Choice
Italian National Champion? Tour de France Champion? World Champion? If there’s a jersey for it, you’re entitled to it. That’s right, under no circumstances should you feel awkward wearing the hardest-fought colors in the world of professional cycling on your relentless campaign to dominate the bike path. Not only is it your right to race everybody, but it’s also your right to experience the sheer thrill of dominating them while wearing the coveted Maglia Rosa.
IV) You Are Entitled To Silky-Smooth Comfort At All Times
Cycling should never involve any discomfort, especially when you’ve paid top-dollar for a high-end road bike. Remember: if you feel any pain whatsoever while riding, it is the fault of the bicycle. Fortunately, there is always a component you can purchase (or demand your bike shop swap out for you at their cost) that can alleviate that pain. A bicycle should transmit no more road sensation to you than your Range Rover. If you feel the road in any way whatsoever, switch to a carbon fork. If you still feel the road, switch to carbon bars. If that doesn’t work, get a carbon stem. If it still doesn’t work, get some gel-filled gloves and handlebar tape so that you feel like you’re grasping an overripe avocado.
V) You Should Never Have To Know What It Feels Like To Lose
When you buy a Mercedes or BMW, you get instant respect. As you drive by, people rightfully think to themselves, “Wow, that’s somebody more important and successful than me.” Well, it’s no different with your bike. Woody Allen once said, “90% of success is just showing up.” Similarly, 90% of being good rider is looking like a good rider, and you should never have to suffer the indignity of doing poorly in a race, or being dropped, or being schooled by riders on bikes that cost less than your wheelset. It’s entirely reasonable to expect your bicycle to deliver instant results. If it doesn’t, then something’s wrong with the bike. Immediately inspect your bicycle and replace faulty components with more expensive ones.
VI) You Are Now Part Of The Club
Being a cyclist or bike racer is about one thing and one thing only: owning a bike. So don’t expect any hazing, or funny looks, or jokes at your expense. Don’t expect to have to learn to race before joining a racing team. Don’t expect to suffer, or to get dropped, and don’t expect to pay any dues. If you bought the right bike, you will enjoy immediate respect. If you’re unsure of which bike to ride, simply read the manufacturer’s website copy. It will tell you in no uncertain terms what you can expect. Congratulations, and welcome to the world of competitive cycling.
Update: Tip of the hat to Bike SnobNYC for this one. It was sent to me in an email, and I posted with without knowing where it came from. Now we all know.by