Thursday, May 5, 2011

Is it me? Did I bring this on? Am I so loathsome that I deserve to be snubbed? A Full "10" on the Snub 'O' Meter

I apologize for the shaky thoughts…I’m going through a rough patch right now…Was the victim of TWO unrelated albeit premeditated, aggressive, and flagrant Snubs yesterday whilst riding my trusty Merlin on a loop that involved Lester River Road and other asphalt aspects of the Heck of the North course. Of course the first snub hurt, but by the second one I felt so alone, so dirty, so unloved— I was a total mess by the time I got home…Thank Heaven that Loki was there for me to offer comfort and solace (Note: Loki, the MAN-dog is the only one in my life that truly loves me. After the attacks, my wife told me, “It’s little wonder you get snubbed so much, you dress like a homeless person and my kid said, “Your're weird!”). Although reliving the horrid memories hurts me to the very core of my soul, for itz like I am reliving the whole sorted affair once again; my team of therapists, life coaches, pharmacists, and the like have encouraged me to write about THE SNUBS as a form of cathartic proactive healing. They tell me that itz not my fault and that with extensive (and expensive) support I will get better. They tell me that where I am right now is at the victim stage. I am a victim of a series of snubbings…Someday I will be able to change and become a Snub-survivor…Help Me…So here goes…


Snub #1: I was riding up the series of hills towards the top of picturesque Lester River Road. Elated as the weather was perfect, I was moving slow and taking time to “smell the flowers” when I spied a fellow cyclist coming towards me. There was plenty of time to prepare a proper salutation so I immediately began to contemplate the traditional (with a twist), “How we doing?” greeting. I usually like to replace the “ya” in “How ya doing” with “we” because I feel that it implies solidarity, commitment to interdependence, and perhaps even a hint of kindred spirit. In other words, the idea of substituting the “ya” with “we” is to convey my appreciation for the philosophical view that we (as cyclists) are inter-related at both a concrete and cosmological (or even metaphysical) plane. Nevertheless, after a bit more thought and surmising that he appeared young by my standards, I decided to save the rather weighty “How we doing” for later (should I encounter a more like-minded cerebral comrade) and instead decided on the more generic, “Beautiful day!” The justifications being first the youthfulness of the rider, and secondly that given the decidedly lack of good cycling weather of late, it would more appropriate to state the obvious in an effort to bridge the potential for a generational gap. So “Beautiful day!” in exclaimative form with a concerted effort to emphasize “Day!” was the option that won out.

He was approaching with speed but not too fast. We looked at each other. Atop a shiny brand new Carbon racing machine, he was clad in a beautifully arranged cycling ensemble complete with matching bibs, jersey, helmet, gloves, socks, even water bottles. He was truly a serious cyclist, my heart soared! I steadied myself to deliver the greeting at the proper time and hit it perfectly just as we made eye-contact. “Beautiful Day” I called out in perfect tone and volume. Immediately following my delivery there was a split second of limbo…time stood still as we locked eyes. I felt the connection...it was real...During this surreal interlude, I remember hoping for more than a simple, “Sure is” but I readied myself for it all the same, having been disappointed so many times before. Then it happened, HE SNUBBED ME!!! He put his head down, stood up, and sprinted away. I felt hideous, like the Elephant Man!!!! “I am not an elephant! I am not an animal! I am a human being! I am a man!” I screamed as he rode away.

Snub #2: Badly shaken, I continued on. The heart is a wonderfully resilient organ and it was not too long that I began to feel whole again. I reasoned that he was an upstart USCF card-carrying Category 4 racer (maybe even a Cat.3 racer!) and that he was simply too busy to offer an old man a greeting. I figured that he surely was heavily involved in interpreting his power-meter, heart rate, and cadence metrics and that he was thus unable to extend to me a brief salutation.

I was on flat ground now and saw well ahead of me a duo of comely lasses heading my way. Although well past my prime (I now only dream of fresh lasagna and ridding myself of toe fungus) I took a moment to adjust my stylish Salsa cycling hat to compliment my greeting. I decided upon a “Hello Ladies” approach with the idea that they would find such a greeting from an elder to be both harmless and charming. As we came closer I set up straight and offered a full smile and called out, “Hello Ladies!” In response they both looked away and rode on…I was reminded of Arendt’s classic essay, The Banality of Evil. I wept as I automatically pedaled my bicycle onward, then I went numb…

Why do cyclists snub other cyclists? WHY???? Help me understand….HELP ME! I can take being snubbed by a Tri-athlon malcontent or a starving runner…but to be snubbed by my own kind???



9 comments:

  1. You're doin' better than me. I got snubbed five or six times yesterday . . . Must have been the sun in their eyes . . . and the sound of wind in their ears . . . they neither saw, nor heard us. Of course I'm even older than you . . . so I should expect this type of banal treatment. I don't get it either . . . what's up with this?

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  2. Funny, cause I was on a very conservative ride designed for socialization and general well being when I couldn't help but notice continual SNUBS.

    Good thing you've got your support group. Help them, Help you.

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  3. Happens to me all the time....I don't understand it????

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  4. You think it's bad up nort, you should try Summit Ave on a Sunday morning.

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  5. I suggest fresh shaven legs, White Assos shorts and no more funny looking woodchippers.
    Then the respect will come from your Snubbers.
    ari

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  6. I suggest barking loudly at the next couple. Works every time.

    Oh wait...these are other cyclists?

    You should Moo loudly then.

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  7. I never get snubbed. You people are goofy. Or Stinky-Icky?

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  8. Thanks for not subbing me at the Wal-Mart the other day. Good luck this weekend.

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  9. I just wave with the one hand - if the uptight Ass(os) wearing rider snubs me I bellow the FU and wave with the finger. Hate that Holier Than Thou attitude crap. Never comes from the old wizened ones either.

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