Thursday, March 13, 2008

Randolf Van Pedalsworth Esq. III's Solvang Ride Report

Hello and Good day ladies and gentlemen,

Your old friend and world bicycle explorer Randolf Van Pedalsworth Esq. III here to report on my latest bicycle adventure in the wild and untamed west of America. This month I found myself in the beautiful and dangerous state of California and in one of it's many hidden gems, Solvang. I was to participate in an event that has become a local favorite... The Solvang Century. I would use this event to explore the statewide cycling culture, pervasive in the American west where fitness and health are of penultimate importance. For this event I would be embedded in local cycling culture, and I would have as my guides no less than 3 tandem teams and two expert field guides known as Chris and Banning from Banning's Bikes in Fullerton. I pride myself on being a physically fit bicycle world explorer, however this crack team of field guides set an unrelenting pace through the beautiful and vast green hills that surround Solvang. Along my 100 mile journey I met many different variations of the American Cyclist, a few of whom we will discuss here. California has always been known to be home to diverse wildlife, and the various, uniquely evolved cycling species are no different....

The first and most persistent species of cyclist that I encountered on my wonderful journey was Racerius Wannabeus. Distinguished by their color coordinated jerseys, Racerius Wanabeus was a group we saw multiple times throughout the ride, often running into the same "packs" over and over again. Racerius Wannabeus is similar in appearance to Cyclistis Eurodouchebaggus, who will be discussed later. The distinguishing behavior of Racerius Wannabeus was their inability to maintain high rates of speed on their own. This lack of individual, maintained speed resulted in a constant game of catch between my escorts and the various packs. I assume this is because Tandem teams, like my caravan, are prized amongst individual Racerius Wannabeus since they offer shelter from the wind. When caught, Racerius Wannabeus force their way into other rider caravans, disrupting the pace and then resting in the draft line. After their rest, they attack off the front and leave the group, only to be caught again later, farther down the road. Other distinguishing behaviors are a generally bad attitude, the inability to introduce themselves to the group they are joining, and a disregard for basic acceptable group ride behavior.

Second to Racerius Wannabeus in persistence and annoying behavior is Slowis Yellowlinus. To the untrained eye this cyclist bears a similar physical appearance to it's cousin Racerius Wannabeus but is distinguished by it's lower over all rate of speed and it's inibility to launch effective attacks on faster groups of cyclists. This group is often seen roaming the roads alone, or in smaller disparate groups including other subgroups. Slowis Yellowlinus typically rides on or near the yellow divider line of a road, rendering safe passage difficult if not impossible. Now many different groups of cyclists find themselves close to the yellow line, however what distinguishes Slowis Yellowlinus is they're apparent lack of hearing. As you approach Slowis Yellowlinus it is impossible to prompt them to yield the right of way to faster groups of cyclists for the fact that they either have selective hearing, or no hearing at all. Research has not been conducted on Slowis Yellowlinus so it is unknown if this lack of hearing ability is physical or purely psychological. My guide, Chris theorized that the hearing is blocked by an over inflated ego, causing Slowis Yellowlinus to sense that they are moving considerably faster than they really are, and thus causing a psychosomatic block of the sense of hearing.

Another unique cycling species that I encountered was Squirellius Boeweavoulus. This subgroup of cyclists can be easily spotted by their coarse and loose jerseys and generally sporadic and undulating riding style. It is not uncommon for Squirellius Boeweavoulus to cause chaos amongst other passing groups of cyclists as the line they are traveling is unpredictable and ever changing. They spend a lot of time observing their surroundings which tends to increase the unpredictability of their movement and makes them even more dangerous as they aren't really paying much attention to the road, or those around them.

A close cousin of Squirellius Boeweavoulus, Distinguishable by sleeveless jersey, ridiculously short shorts and by completely useless additional parts hanging off the front of their bikes, is Triathletis Boeweavoulus Dorkus. This group tends to embody most if not all of the traits of these groups. They can rarely travel at high rates of speed, lack any common sense or courtesy, are erratic and unpredictable and often have the bloated sense of ego that blocks hearing similar to Slowis Yellowlinus.

Also on the road was a very rare Albino Cyclistis Eurodouchebaggus, A fast and highly skilled cyclist who rules the road. He can be seen on the left in this rare photo. Easily spotted by their stunning and tediously groomed jersey kits, Cyclistis Eurodouchebaggus' are often seen navigating the road with deft skill and extreme intensity. The one photographed here had latched on with my caravan at the beginning of the journey, giving me a unique and exciting opportunity to observe Cyclistis Eurodouchebaggus at length. This particular Cyclistis Eurodouchebaggus was cordial and polite. I overheard him discussing race results from Europe and the finer points of style and grace in cycling culture with my guide Chris. I often spotted him taking unnecessarily long turns at the front of the group, forcing his way into the wind. He would attack often and later "went out alone" from the back of our group around mile 75. We met up with him again, in his exquisite white jersey at the last rest stop, but he "went out alone" again at the last climb. I can only assume that he finished the ride completely void of sweat marks, breathing through his nose, moving at a high rate of speed with his hands planted firmly in the drops as it is the nature of Cyclistis Eurodouchebaggus to always finish in style and in complete control, even if not in first place. However this particular Cyclistis Eurodouchebaggus was later found crying in his beer about the difficulty of the ride and the headwind. Obviously the Albino Cyclistis Eurodouchebaggus is not as battle hardened as his more colorful siblings. Below, the map and profile.


Bill Meadows said...

it takes a brave and/or superconfident man to wear an all white kit.....

Anonymous said...

Yeah, cycling draws more than its share of preening conspicuous consumers, but among the weirdos is Crankus Misanthropis, who are obsessed with nitpicking what other people are doing -- "Look at that fred wearing a pro jersey! Hey, he's riding too fast! Hey, he's riding too slow!"

Maybe you should ride with horse blinders so that your delicate sensibilities aren't constantly under assault.

Dougal said...

another good entry man!

I enjoyed the style for this one, kudos old boy!

Just got a single speed commuter on Friday, she is fun to ride around on and the uphill into the wind ride home will have me back in shape in no time! Plus the rear hub is a flipflop, so if I feel so inclined, I can become Hipster Fixiegearius