My time trialing days are all done;
I'm riding now strictly for fun.
No ego, no pressure, no ache,
My personal records to break.
Those trophies at home in a row
Are relics from long, long ago.
These days I'm not pushing the pace,
Preferring to cruise, not to race.
Some guys that I ride with are quick,
With cycles expensive and trick;
So light that they float up the climbs,
So aero they get lower times,
All fiber – like carbon and such.
[They're nice, but they cost way too much.]
The guys are all fit, young and lean,
So fast that it's almost obscene.
But hey, that's no longer a threat;
I'm slow, but I have no regret.
Who needs to impress this wolf pack?
I tell them as I'm hanging back,
"Just leave me; I'm cool, guys, I swear.
I'll bring up the rear; I don't care.
Get going; I really don't mind.
I'll just keep on bumbling behind."
Much faster than me, off they lope;
I watch as they charge up a slope.
I smile; I don't need to go fast.
I guess I've matured at long last.
I'm happy to dawdle along,
Just smiling and humming a song.
Or thinking up poems like this,
Contented, relaxed, feeling bliss.
But wait just a second... I see
A sight that's distracting to me.
So this ditty now has to wait;
Like sharks when you dangle some bait,
I've spotted a cyclist ahead,
Which makes me forget what I've said.
My heart pounds, my pulse starts to race,
My hormones scream out, "Let's give chase!"
I shift up two gears and begin
My pedals much faster to spin.
My thighs ache as onward I dash,
To close up the gap in a flash.
My lungs gasp for much needed air,
But soon I'm in place, I'm right there.
I draft on his wheel for a while,
Then pull out and pass with a smile.
I smugly look back as I speed,
Still humping, increasing my lead.
He waves, saying "Have a nice day!
You're working too hard; you should play.
Relax, mellow out like I do;
I once used to race just like you,
But now that I'm older, I've found
I'm happy just cruising around."
For only a moment I thought,
'My efforts have all been for naught.
This guy didn't even compete;
My victory's not very sweet.'
But deep in my heart I could sense,
His casual air's just defense.
I laughed with a secret delight;
I chuckled to myself – Yeah, right...
Your time trialing days are all done;
You're riding now strictly for fun...
Until you encounter someone
That you can still maybe outrun.
But then your true colors will show;
Adrenaline starting to flow,
Your old racer instincts will out,
No matter how old or how stout.
You'll pant and you'll puff and you'll wheeze,
Displaying your mental disease –
Your yen to compete and to win.
Oh sure, you can fake a big grin,
And swear you don't need to go fast,
But still... no one likes getting passed.
And all us old bike racers know:
It gripes your fat ass to be slow!
Last updated Oct 6 2004