But while I may have been upset, I didn't go so far as to actually say something to him. First of all, the hairy-chested gigolo that is annoyance swings both ways, and I very well may have been just as annoying to him. As he passed me on the ascent, I'm sure he was disgusted by my lazy pace, and my non-messenger bag, and my superfluous brakes, and my ostentatious taped bars with their giant levers and multiple bends. "How many hand positions does this idiot need?", he probably asked himself. "He's got more places to put his mitts than a serial groper on a Tokyo subway." And on the way down, he probably cursed us crazy braked riders and our reckless high-speed descents.
As they did, however, he said, "Get a light." The other man turned and asked what he said.
The victim repeated, "Get a light."
The couple yelled loudly at the man, telling him to mind his own business, according to police. The victim said the other man attempted to run him off the road before the couple followed him to his home driveway.
That's where a conversation about lights continued and the woman told the victim that he seemed to have plenty of lights and asked for one. He gave her a light and told police he did not feel threatened.
The other man, however, appeared to still be upset about the original comment and allegedly clamped his hands around the victim's head. The other man then twisted the victim to the ground and kneed him in the ribs.
The first suspect was described as a white male, about 6 feet tall, wearing a dark-colored jacket and riding a Trek time trial bike .
The second suspect was a white female, about 5-feet-4-inches who rode an Orbea road bike with orange on the front.
This report of unwarranted violence shook me to my core, and I can only hope these rampaging roadies are brought to justice. I must say though that I can't imagine a dorkier pair of assailants--even in Wisconsin. To be attacked by some Fred on a Trek TT bike while his Orbea-straddling Wilma looks on is an indignity nobody should ever have to experience. I wish the article gave more of a description, because I'd very much like to know what they were wearing. Given the savage nature of the attack and the goofy bikes I'm pretty sure Primal Wear was involved. The man was probably sporting this inexcusably hideous Metallica "...And Justice For All" jersey (you don't "rock" or "run" Primal Wear; you "sport" it, like Dockers or Rockports):
While his lady partner, who's clearly in denial over the disaster her life has become, had most likely attired herself in the Queen of DeNile chemise:I'd also be willing to bet good money (and by "good money" I mean Euros) that at least one of them was wearing one of those inexcusable roadie babuskas:The roadie babuska is the cycling equivalent of sporting a Members Only jacket with no shirt underneath, and you should never, ever wear one, no matter how much pate-wicking you may think you need. Then again, you also probably shouldn't tell people you don't know to "get a light," or to "wear a helmet," or to "get a brake." While all of these things are good advice, and while it's perfectly fine to endorse them, it's almost always best to refrain from doing so directly to other riders in situ. This is not to excuse Fred and Wilma's wanton behavior by any means, but it is really annoying. Even though I believe with every molecule in my body that you should never wear a roadie babushka, I wouldn't approach a stranger and tell him he should take that sweaty disgusting dishrag off his head. And even though I wanted to tell the guy on the bridge to "get a brake," I knew it would have been foolish to do so. Being annoyed by brakeless riders is curmudgeonly; telling off brakeless riders on the street is just pain douchey.
Speaking of roadies and douches, I noticed during my recess that Franck Vandenbroucke is on yet another team:
Franck Vandenbroucke is the Mavic Ksyrium freehub of professional cyclists in that both are constantly squealing and failing, yet people continue to invest money in them for some reason. You'd think after the famous "those drugs were for my dog" incident (which was, admittedly, sublime in its absurdity) cycling would have closed the door on Vandenbroucke once and for all, and that people would realize by now that he's long gone from enfant terrible to plain infant. But you'd be wrong. You'd also think people would have realized he looks uncannily like Ruprecht from "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels," but to my knowledge this has yet to be acknowledged by the cycling press:
Indeed, failed promise is addicting. Despite being a failure whose Wikipedia page reads like the treatment for a John C. Reilly movie, cycling fans wax nostalgic about the fact he won Leige-Bastogne-Leige like ten years ago or something, and that he cocked his handlebars at a jaunty angle. Why? Because he's a "natural talent." ( "Everybody did it, and so did I," he said about doping. "It is the truth and it does not diminish the value of my victories.") I suppose this makes sense though. We all know the real villains in professional road cycling are the ones with the audacity to to win a bunch of races, stay out of trouble, and be successful. And that's not what bike racing is about.
Then again, I suppose there's nothing wrong with recycling. The professional road racing world is still trying to recycle Vandenbroucke, and the fixed-gear world is still trying to recycle front wheels. We've already seen them breathe new life into the Spinergy Rev-X and the Aerospoke, and now they're moving on to the wheelchair wheel:
If you're a competitive wheelchair athlete who's upgraded to a Zipp or something, you'll be happy to know there's a burgeoning market for your old take-offs.