“If you want to know what a man’s like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.”
We all start somewhere. We all had a point in our cycling life where we were the low-man on the totem pole. Why does our memory fade so quickly? The faster we become on a bike, we begin to think that we are somewhat better than the guy who shows up at the group ride with his entry-level Trek, mountain bike helmet, a football compression shirt, and toe straps. No one talks to this person, even the other poor sap who showed up for the first time on his entry-level Cannondale.
It is human nature to compete and want to the be the best at something. Isn’t it ironic that same elitist cyclist will be the first guy to complain when a major league ball player wouldn’t give him the time of day for an autograph? Being an elitist is something a person must suppress. I make a point, at the start of a ride, to say hey and introduce myself to the guy or gal who looks out of place and nervous. Treat others as you would like to be treated. Now, I will admit that I do have a small area that I am still trying to do better. It’s not the new guy who shows up not knowing what to do. It’s the guy who shows up for the first time with his $12,000 Pinarello, $700 Castelli kit, $600 Sidi shoes, and $250 Giro helmet . . . oh, I almost forgot the $280 Oakley or Rudy sunglasses. Why? Why does this bother me? Jealous? Okay, a little bit. But I get such a thrill (right or wrong) when he’s about to pass out after the first ten miles at 28 mph and drops from the pace line. I know. I know. I am writing about elitist jerks, and here I am having the same feelings, of sort. Like I said, I’m working on it.
I have just starting blogging and don’t have too many followers, but I wish everyone could read this and remember that we all started somewhere. No one is better than anyone else, just because he is faster or his bike costs as much as a used Honda Civic. Just make it that fact that we all love cycling. I have seen too many people show up to a group ride, ride alone, get dropped, and are never heard from again. We must pour our passion of cycling into others who show an interest, not make them feel ostracized. Again . . . treat others as you would like to be treated.