Monday, February 11, 2008

Century Etiquette

Now, I may know a lot of things, but there are things that some would debate me on. I'm not widely considered an expert on things other than my pesto. I decided for this blog to consult someone who no one could argue with. A man with palmares that are unmatched. That's right, the man from the land of French fries, Eddy Merckx is going to be giving you the one two on this shit, because that's how important it is...

Hello, I'm Eddy Merckx, and I'm here to talk to you about road etiquette. You don't get to respond, you don't get to argue. You want to know why? Five Giro's, Five Tours and a Vuelta... that's why. Let me tell you about cycling. It's a gentleman's sport. We look out for each other on the road. We work together for the same end and when we get to the finish line may the best man win. That is the way it has always been and that is the way it will always be.

Century rides are just a little different, since well, it's not a race. Corey told me about his experience at the Tour de Palm Springs, and how he watched as people cut in the line, cutting other riders off to get the best wheel. You want to know where the best wheel is? It's in that picture. You see anyone on that wheel? No. Why? because I rode them all off it. You know why? Because I'm the best. You don't get to argue with the best, you just get to sit and listen like children to a scolding, or bed time story...whichever you prefer.

Hey Mr. HealthNet superfan, with your full on HealthNet Kit and your HealthNet Cannondale, and your old, obviously not healthnet physique; if the pack passes you, don't just cut in when you feel like it, you let the entire group pass, and then jump on the back. Remember, it's not a race, it's just a ride. If you're strong enough to work your way up to the front then great, but since you weren't you got ridden off the back. You have a problem with that? Maybe you should consult my 5 Liege-Bastogne-Liege trophies.

Tandems are something special on a 100 mile ride. You should respect them. They will pull you forever on the flats, and give you the opportunity to coast at speeds you only dream of on even the slightest of downhills. Therefore if there are multiple tandems in a group, let them stay in a group. Don't cut the tandem line. They can't slow as fast as a single rider, and they usually have a system. Don't cut the tandem line. You disagree? Oh, that's cool, here's someone who wants to talk to you, It's the 4 world championships I won, one of which when I was an amateur.

If you happen to grab someone's wheel, let them know. Riding someone's wheel is like sitting down with them for a nice dinner, you just don't do it without shaking hands. And if you decide to ride their wheel, when you take off around them and leave them to continue working in the wind you better thank them. Remember, you feel better and rested because of the work they did. What's that? you aren't sure if you should listen to me? Maybe you should ask my good friend Milan-San Remo, which I won 7 times. That not enough? How about you check in with my 3 Paris-Roubaix wins or my 17 six day races titles.

You get the picture? I've won more races than any other person, ever. If someone has one more than me, they weren't as important as the races I've won. If I say something about cycling, you should listen, because I'm the fucking boss.

Well... You heard the man, I can't argue with that so neither should you.

*Eddy Merckx didn't really write that. It was written by a enigmatic super fan who happens to know quite a bit about cycling.

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