Don't get me wrong here. Many Cat 4's don't act like Cat 4's at all; they handle their bike PRO-style, behave with a modicum of class, and always ride smart. No, I'm referring to the people who should know better, who don't. Fournicators.
The salient point to remember is that just because you're a Cat 4, it doesn't mean you have to act like one. You should struggle against it, even if the struggle is doomed.
I saw about fifty examples of Fournication today while I was riding into and out of work, and hittin' on a few hard efforts. It was a wealth of path[lete]-ology, low rent behavior and general silliness. The thing is, I recognized some of the people who were Fournicating. I've seen them commuting / racing / training for years. *They know better*. Maybe it is just that many people are in early season form, and completely forgot how to ride properly over the winter. Or maybe the more I ride, the more I notice bad riding. Some examples:
On a crowded multi-use path, the guys who will risk a serious accident to pull off a sketchy pass, in the oncoming direction. One guy in particular who was time trialing downhill on a flatbar commuter nearly took me out; I think we brushed arm hairs. NO, you miscalculated, pal. I really was riding uphill *that* fast. Wayyy bad judgment.
Again on a path, the two guys who were racing each other in wobbly, weaving fashion, decided to do a standing townline sprint at the Georgetown boathouse. You know the spot - where a yellow steel fencepost juts up out of the narrow path to force you to ride slow, and there are tons of pedestrians walking into and out of the boathouses? Right there. I guess the intersection of K and Connecticut was taken or something. They went weaving up to it as fast as their weak little legs would carry them, and damned if the one kid didn't nearly take himself out on the fencepost. What a couple of Fournicators.
Then there was this guy who was rocking the bib shorts through town this afternoon, but with the suspender portion around his waist, no jersey. Not a good look on a pro cyclist, horrendous on a fat 40-something slob. I will never be able to un-see that. Sheer Fournication.
There was also a bunch of guys hammering it, with no helmet on. Two words, assholes: Fabio Casartelli. Unless you have better handling skills than him, you have no business trying to ride fast without a helmet. Unless you are PRO, it's pure Fournication to drill it on a roadbike without wearing a brain bucket. Chris Regan excepted - his magnificent hair will protect him in case of a crash.
Then I saw this not-otherwise-terrible-looking-girl in a low cut jersey with an immense tattoo on her upper chest, between her boobs, with the tat originating somewhere between the county jail and the state pen. How un-PRO... totally Fournicated. Tats are supposed to make you look better, honey. What was that supposed to be... a perspiring gothic butterfly? Get a full zip jersey, and keep it zipped up, willya?
There was another guy who was cruising Hains with his girlfriend a steady 20 feet behind him, and she was struggling mightily to hang on on a big headwind. This is ghastly group ride and relationship behavior. Despite all his efforts to drop her - at a stately speed of about 15 MPH - I think she is going to wind up dropping him hard. He might have been Fournicating with her now, but he's going to lose his chance to do so in the future because he rides like a jerk. Apt punishment for a Fournicator.
Then I rode behind this one guy coming out of town, who stood up and sprinted away from every stoplight going across town this morning, and burned every second red light. A serious rider either burns every light that can be safely burned without legal or personal jeopardy, or causing problems for the sponsor, or stops at all of them. Doing it any other way is incoherent, a riding style of no style. In contrast, a Fournicator burns the lights at random, waiting too long to make the decision so that oncoming cars have to brake, and riders left waiting at the light are stuck with withering glares from motorists.
The final bit of Fournication I saw today was this guy with a blog who went home and bitched about all the stupidity, in the guise of chronicling it. Bitching about other people's riding is a real Fournicator maneuver.
Remember: Always Stay Classy Out There!