Ego, I think; not testosterone

Yesterday I went for a bike ride up Mount Tamalpais. It was hot, 87 degrees. About 3/4 of the way up, I was suffering, so I stopped to take a break at a place where many riders stop to rest—Pan Toll Station. There are toilets, water, and shade. While I was recovering, a group of five mountain bikers came in and sat down next to me. I used to go for mountain bike rides, but I won’t do it anymore. I don’t think bikes belong out in the wilderness—not even on fire roads. It should be a place where you can get away from machines. I knew the fire roads they were discussing. They’d ridden a long way on some difficult routes, so I knew they were accomplished riders. As I was sitting there listening to them talk—I had no choice, they were annoyingly loud—they started remembering how they’d “scared the shit” out of some hikers by riding too close to them as they passed from behind. They all thought that was pretty funny. They talked like teenage boys. The strange thing is that they were all at least in their fifties—possibly their late fifties. They had expensive superbikes and elaborate gear, so they probably had good jobs, responsible positions, and all that. But they had never grown up.

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4 Responses to “Ego, I think; not testosterone”

  1. Margaret Says:

    Yes. I love to bike, and often bike home along a great trail which is used by cyclists, mothers with strollers, grandmas with little dogs–multi-use, in other words. Every day there’re moments when it’s suddenly terrorized by some delusional maniac on an expensive bike–and it’s been worse the last couple of weeks with the Tour de France going on. “STAY STILL!” one barked yesterday to the public at large as he careened crazily around the grandmas and strollers and sped away. “I hope you win your stage, asshole,” I shouted after him; but such folks are without shame.

    • markbittner Says:

      There is the same situation over in Sausalito—a multi-use trail that has no rules so there’s nothing to enforce, and the racers dominate. There was a criterium in San Rafael a few weeks ago, and the racing teams were out in force, screaming at and endangering everyone in their path. There is also a particularly dangerous situation on the sidewalks of the Golden Gate Bridge, which are packed with wobbly riders on rental bikes, and the racers charge through them all with delirious eyes fixed on their heart-rate monitors.

  2. Michael Says:

    Don’t let the bad people get you down. I hate when bikers do that kind of garbage as well, but I see many people who are disrespectful when it comes to hiking also. There are always going to be a few bad eggs in the bunch. I love to ride my bike out in nature, it gives me the freedom to travel farther and experience more then when I’m hiking. But the key is I am respectful to others on trails and most importantly to the environment and nature around me.

  3. funk50 Says:

    I’ve been riding for years and have seen those infuriating behaviors seem to get worse over the years.

    I’ve taken to dishing out attitude adjustments on the spot esp. to those gussied up like spandexed easter eggs. I find it a laugh to curse out some middle classhole. I consider their behavior a form of bullying and the quickest way to stop a bully is to offer to kick their ass. Ruins their whole day haha.

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