There are many rules and etiquette to follow when it comes to cycling well with others. They are all pretty much common sense, so why are there so many terrible riding buddies out there? With this is mind we have created 9 ways to be the worst riding mate, (road and mountain), you can possibly be.
1. Always half wheel
Riding two abreast is the number one time to half wheel your mate. Always make sure your front wheel is half a length in front of his. There is no better way to be annoying in the bunch than doing this.
2. Spray and snot
Hot day in the bunch is the best place to get on the front and spray your head with water to cool off. Alternatively you could accidently not move out of line far enough, or forget to look behind, before emptying your nose onto the bitumen, and also onto your riding buddy's face.
3. Morning dump
Never take a dump before you leave home. If you're road cycling get your mate to wait outside the dodgy public lavatory while you bog on, or on the trails ask everyone to search their kit for paper so you can wipe after marking your territory in the forest. The bunch will keenly enjoy smelling what you had for dinner the previous night too.
“Get your mate to wait outside the dodgy public lavatory while you bog on”
4. Adjust your tire pressure...continuously
Make sure you adjust your tire pressure at every opportunity while complaining that your bad riding is because your tires are too hard and have no grip. Adjust the pressure down to the point that you pinch flat then, of course, make everyone wait while you fumble around changing your tube.
5. Never be prepared
Number 4 is even more annoying if you manage to forget to bring any spares. Make sure you pack a spare tube, pump, tire levers and mini tool before a mountain bike ride, then leave it all at home. Your mates will smile as they dole out their spares for you but rest assured they are actually really pissed that you didn't bring anything....again.
6. Never buy a large (or reliable) car
Make absolutely certain you don't ever buy a vehicle big enough to fit any bikes whatsoever. That way someone else can cough up for the fuel and hassle of driving to the trail. If you have to buy a van or utility don't tell anybody, or alternatively, make certain it is in such hopeless condition that it conveniently breaks down the day before your turn to do the run to the trail head.
7. Take charge....then collapse
When taking on short power climbs in a road bunch get on the front and lead charging in the big ring. Twenty metres from the crest, with your mate hugging your rear wheel, suddenly run out of steam and stop pedaling. Awesome, should be number 1.
“It is best to never ride a steady tempo.”
8. Ride erratically
Riding on the front with your mate, it is best to never ride a steady tempo. Keep alternating speed and cadence so he constantly has to adjust. Make sudden surges, then spin. Ride close to a pot hole then veer suddenly without gesturing your intent. Congratulate yourself on becoming the worst, most erratic bunch rider possible.
9. Block the trail
When the singletrack starts to climb, make absolutely certain that you are riding point even though you know you'll never be able to ride the whole trail. Your fitter, more skilled mates will be over joyed as you stumble over your bike trying to dismount. This practise is even better if you then push your bike up the middle of the trail preventing anybody else from attempting to ride it.
Alternatively you could just do the opposite to all this and be a consistent and enjoyable companion on the bike. Turn up to your ride prepared and on time. Observe and follow the rules of the bunch like riding consistently and wiping any snotty left-overs on your sock. On the singletrack be aware of your skill level and make room for faster and fitter riders if necessary, and ALWAYS arrive at the trail head prepared!
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