I get on a tear sometimes about BikeTrailGuys, the fellows who hop on a bike and turn into Fast Freddy Rodriguez - that is, sprint sprint sprint, crash sprint. They get a little over competitive on the multi-use trails that provide the easiest way to get around the DC area on bike and they are a hazard to all cyclists. A "cyclist" is simply somebody who rides a bike and does so appropriately, within the limits of their own skill, with proper respect for others, and in a manner that does not make Tullio Campagnolo rise from the dead and beg the Madonna di Ghisallo to put a curse on all their descendants. This includes most regular commuters, most racers, most 'bent riders, at least the two wheeled variety, and those rec riders who ride in such a way as to give an impression that they at least sorta know what they are doing.
Cyclists trying to use the trails are plagued by a variety of trail users, however; these flaky users don't appear to be capable of applying a quarter of the skill to their endeavors, that cyclists apply to theirs. Take today, for instance - the Cap Crescent was ridiculously packed with so many insane-acting lunatics that after 10 minutes spinning, I was sure that some enormous group home was having an outing day. Apparently, that wasn't the case; rather it was the result of the semi-annual moron migration. During the winter, the morons apparently migrate onto their sofas, into the malls, and into that bar at the western end of the Georgetown Branch Trail, the one that can't keep the same name for more than two consecutive weeks. It was Le Bon Turde or something like that, then it was F.U.zion, then it was ConFusion, now it's boarded up and the sign says Cornholio or something... At the end of the winter, when the weather turns warm, the morons migrate outside to plague local bike trails. It's like the swallows returning to San Juan Capistrano, but instead of swallows they merely suck.
So the trail was packed with morons. Being the helpful kind of person that I am, it occurred to me while I was riding homeward that the difference between me and the morons (aside from being exceedingly slim) is that people regularly provide me with the constructive criticism, "Hey, fucko, stop doing that! Jerk!"
Since I'm the kind of person who appreciates a gentle corrective comment of that sort, I decided to offer advice to my fellow trail users, to help them become less moronic, and more, um, well, less moronic anyhow.
To the Older Skinny Lady on the Mixte: First, nice vintage bike. That must have been 60 years old. Did you get it as a 50th birthday present? I applaud your use of the horn on your vintage bike. I need to warn you, however, that no matter how many times you hit the horn, Scottie is not going to beam me up to the Enterprise, out of your path. For this reason, and because the broken hip you get will likely kill you, you *might* just want to consider riding on your own damn side of the trail. Please, don't be offended by this - the last thing I want to do is piss off somebody who banged Grover Cleveland, Alice B. Toklas and John Rockefeller, but I'd hate to see you get hurt out there.
To the 500 Pound Woman: It does my heart good to see you out there busting your ass, sweatin' gravy walking up the trail. Believe me, I am fighting the same war as you. Granted, you're in the trenches with the Foreign Legion and the Lost Battalion, while I'm inspecting for bedbugs and making sure the K-Rations are properly warmed at Fort Wegotcha, but we're on the same side here. And don't take any shit from skinny ass roadies; the reason they are skinny assed is they are as obsessed with food as you, just in a different, White Goodman-esque sort of way. Anyhow, check it out - the trail has two sides. The 6 foot-long yellow broken line - those aren't painted footprints where Yao Ming once walked before a Chinese government expedition captured him, shaved his body, and trained him to post up. No, the stripes denote the different sides of the trail. Granted, it's probably hard for you to see over the port side and realize this, but you could move approximately 5 feet to the right, and still be walking on tarmac that is rated for your weight. I'd appreciate it if you did so, because it's hard as hell to get around your 4 foot-wide ass when it's planted in the middle of the trail and there's oncoming traffic. Keep it up, honey. Just keep it up a few feet to the right.
To the Hipster Mailroom Clerk-looking Kid on the Fixie With Flopped & Chopped Nittos: Don't worry about how your new, tres chic, hard-to-handle fixed gear bike is weaving all over the trail. Soon enough you'll forget to pedal, it will throw you to the ground as if you had roofies in your water bottle and it *really, really* liked you in an unhealthy and illegal sort of way. You'll wind up losing most of your meager higher brain functions because the upscale baseball cap you are wearing isn't sufficient to protect your mostly empty head. Then you'll be incapable of worrying. So there's no reason to get all wound up about it now.
To the Angry Triathlete in the Aero Bars: Dude, you should race some Cat 5 mass start races. Then you'd hear a new term: "WATCH YOUR LINE!!!!!!" Unlike everybody else who has ever heard that command, it might actually help you. I really didn't appreciate you nearly head-on-ing me today. Tinkling your bell at me wasn't real smart either. Just take my word on this skinny boy: I'm a bigtime asshole, and you do not want to be riding at a high rate of speed in my lane, chide me with your bell then crash me out. If you had hit me, I could have just about dealt with you crashing me out; you being in my lane riding in your poor handling aero position would really have put me on edge, but the tinkling of that pathetic bell just before you speared me... That would have been the final straw. Oh yeah, and your sleeveless shirt? That would be like the chocolate syrup on the cherry on top of the whipped cream on my Sundae of Things That Piss Me Off. Yeah, I'm a dick about this, but I wouldn't even have noticed you if you hadn't been on the biketrail equivalent of a crime spree.
To the Old Pervy Guy Who Pulls Up to Girls, Matches Their Pace, Then Stares At Their Boobs: Dude, you're my fuckin' hero. I can't wait until I'm old enough to get away with doing whatever the hell I want to do. And while ogling random 25 year-old girls on bikes isn't exactly my thing, I *completely* understand how you could get into something like that. Girls are as easy to look at, as ice cold beer is to drink on a hot day. But lookit, you need to wear a helmet. If you ever crashed, the coroner would have quite a laugh about your odd combination of a skull fracture, dangling tongue half bitten off, road rash, and an erection. You don't want to go out like that, partly because it would be immortalized on pictures on the internet forever, and partly becuse dying that way, you'd be condemned to roam the earth forever as a lameass soul. Heaven is clearly out for a big perv like you at this point - I don't think you'd want to go there unless all the angels look like the Specialized Angel anyhow - and Hell wouldn't want you because Hell is for evil people, not pathetic ones. No, your fate is to be found in your apartment, dead six months before the landlord opens the door to find you, schmeckel in hand, with the Spice Channel on. And if you don't wear a helmet, you may not meet your assigned fate. Then you'll have to come back to life in a fresh new body, just like in the movies, and live out your whole damn dismal, creepy-ass life all over again. And *nobody* wants that - you included, I'd guess.
To the Chubby Cute Girl on a Bike and Obviously on a First Date with the Fratboy: The giggling is cute, the halter top is cute, the no-helmet-lettin'-you-hair-flow-in-the-wind thing is cute. But you want to know what isn't cute? A Georgetown girl playing dumb to hook up with some feckless fratboy. I had to ride behind you for a couple minutes waiting for traffic to clear, and couldn't help but hear the conversation. I'd swear I heard your intelligence dripping out of your left ear (note to girl: lean head to the right sometimes when listening to idiot fratboy) and hitting the ground with a wet splat. Lissen up, here's the deal. If you're stupid, he's not into you for your personality, so don't fool yourself and don't try to show him your personality, it won't matter. If you're smart, and he expects you to play dumb for him, then he's not good enough for you, so quit wasting your time. So just be your little brainy pre-med self and let the chips fall where they may, unless you're trying to set yourself up as a booty call. Being your brainy self would include not straying into the path of tall, nordic-looking, fast-moving roller bladers. And if you're just in it for the booty call, why not hit up the older pervy guy? He probably wouldn't ask you to humiliate yourself to get on his booty call list, which makes him a cut above the fratboy, at least from the standpoint of trying to preserve a couple shreds of your apparently meager dignity.
To the First Time This Year Commuters Who Were Gagging on Blood Coughed Out of Their Own Lungs: Hang in there guys. It will take month for you to get fit enough so that the 11 mile commute doesn't kill you. That, or you will discretely park that $600 Novara commuter wagon in a dark corner of the garage, ditch the bike commuting plans, get your car detailed, start driving to work every day, and NEVER SPEAK OF THIS AGAIN. Either way I'm cool with it, but for now, providing you can manage it in your severe oxygen-debt haze, do you think you could stop weaving dangerously long enough for me to pass? Thanks.
To the Residents of Old Anglers Road Whose Sewage Overflows the Trail When it Rains Hard: Jeebus, I don't know what you people ate, but the CCT *still* stinks from the last time we had a minor sewage overflow. I mean really, it could gag a frickin' maggot. I have no sense of smell, and I ride past the overflow location, and damn near choke. What the hell are you people doing up there in those nice houses? Sacrificing humans in Satan worshipping rituals? Running a secret meat packing plant? Discretely operating a kosher hog farm?
To the Series of Cute Fit Chicks Jogging South on the CCT: What this guy said. Twice. Board Certified Plastic Surgery Representin', yo!