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Quiet rider's manifesto

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Post  brdfrd on Tue Mar 11, 2008 4:34 pm

So this is something that's been on my mind for a while. Let me preface the upcoming mini rant with these two facts: People are inherently friendly and I am inherently anti-social.

Now that I've got that out of the way, let me say this: Don't freaking talk to me.

As a sort-of new-comer on the lunch ride, I think it's very cool how the nature of the group changes from day-to-day. Faster people, non-Rodale people, lots of people who need to make time to ride. All good. To go out on a chilly February day with 15 people and do Vera Cruz in an hour is a great thing. But the last couple months in the office I've been attending meeting after meeting, listening to my co-workers blathering on about who knows what, vendors, customers... everyone has to talk to me. Now my friends, on the ride, talk to me on Vera Cruz and Sauerkraut and Churchiew Flat on days that I could have just used the silence. I've been dragged into conversation a couple times by people who have not made formal introductions before discussing kidney stones. What is up with this? And am I the only one self absorbed enough or cranky enough to be annoyed by this?

I don't have a universal problem with a chat. If you see me at the pool in July, struggling to survive the boredom, then please, feel free to break the ice. Likewise, if a truck is about to run me over, feel free to shout "car"! Otherwise, don't freaking talk to me.

I know I'm very interesting, but I also know I'm less interesting than I've been the past few winters. Anyway, if you see me slipping into a trance, you can do a number of things. You can pedal along in silence. Thanks for that. You can continue to chatter along to yourself. No problem. Or if you really want to hear yourself talk, find someone who wants to listen. No hard feelings; I know I'm anti-social. Just don't freaking talk to me.

I'm curious how other "anti-social" people feel. But the struggle to ride in silence is tough enough in the company of so many talkative riders. I already know what it's like to roll to the top of a hill with a small group tittering away waiting for the last rider to arrive so they can push on, what it's like to get included in a conversational recovery ride for most everyone else, what it's like to wax poetically on flatish rides that aren't even that hard. On these kinds of rides, a chat feels like an added level of complication. I am sure that is not how it is intented, but that's how it feels.

There. Now I feel much better.


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Post  Steak on Wed Mar 12, 2008 10:21 am


I appreciate your position and I won't talk to you on the road. I will however, offer my experience with the "tittering"...

As a young rider I often found myself in a conversation, or rather riding next to people in conversation. I listened as other folks got all chatty. I didn't want to chat either, but at the same time I did. It didn't matter though, because no one chatted with me. Years later I came to learn that you people sometimes talk to you because you belong in the group, you earned your place in the group. Not because you may be anti-social or struggling with your meds. Everyone has been there, been in really quiet moods, gotten slammed by stupid meeting, ended up on the ride where Bill just keeps talking about Fausto or whatever—regardless you belong in the group.

The chatter is a sign of respect, the result of being an integral part of a very close and unique community that values sweat, suffering and the occasional personal triumph.

I hope this hasn't swayed your conviction...

Last edited by Steak on Wed Mar 12, 2008 10:48 am; edited 1 time in total


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Post  brdfrd on Wed Mar 12, 2008 10:32 am

Awesome! Thanks.


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