Here is a quick rundown of guidelines for our rides. They are not directed at anyone in particular (I am personally guilty of violating more than a few of these), but if we all make an honest attempt to adhere to these guidelines then our little corner of the world will be a better place:
#1 - DO NOT mention in a seemingly offhand way that you "had a big night" to suggest that any failure to perform on today's ride is not a reflection on your riding ability but rather on your extremely demanding social life. That was your choice not mine. If someone else mentions that you smell like a brewery then you are free to share a couple of embarassing stories from the night before, but please keep them brief.
#2 - DO NOT talk endlessly about techie bike technology like aluminum vs scadmium frames or tubed vs tubeless tires unless you are talking to another gear techie. This is boring, unless you are a gear techie (like me).
#3 - DO NOT point out to us that you are riding your single speed as if we are supposed to be awed by your stamina. You chose to leave a perfectly good geared bike hanging in your garage, what you are doing is not that hard to do anyway, and your chest thumping is really annoying and in violation of rule #10.
#4 - DO NOT mention that you "haven't ridden in like, two weeks" suggesting that we should understand if you fall behind the group or be amazed if you are somehow able to keep up after such a prolonged layoff. We all have jobs and families and stuff which sometimes interfere with our riding schedule. That's life so get over it.
#5 - DO NOT complain incessantly about your recent injury. If you want to give us a quick update on your recuperation status at the beginning of the ride, you may do so but again, brevity please.
#6 - DO NOT wait fore the group at the top of the lung buster hill and as soon as the last rider arrives start rolling again. I know it is funny to see the look in his eyes but remember that in some other group YOU are the last guy so lighten up and read rule #10 again.
#7 - DO NOT blind me by shining that 10 bazillion candlepower helmet light into my eyes when we stop for a breather during a night ride. Put your hand over it or even better turn it off. It took me 30 minutes for my eyes to acclimate to the dark and that thing will probably fry my retina and it's hard to ride a bike with fried retina.
#8 - DO NOT charge ahead and then tap your brakes in the pace line to Chelsy's. We have no business riding in a pace line anyway, and especially at night. And when I am cruising at 25 mph just 6 inches away from your rear tire and you tap the brakes, the fun factor completely disappears and instead of thinking about beer I am thinking about stuff like plastic surgery and screws in my wrist. Please just stay on the back if you want to do this.
#9 - DO NOT carry on about your minor accomplishments that nobody cares about anyway. Like that time you "cleaned the stream crossing". Nobody remembers nor really cares.
#10 - DO NOT take this too seriously. We are riding bicycles for Pete's sake. We're not negotiating an arms treaty or discussing corrupt homeowner associations. We do this for fun, just like when we were 8 years old. Fun means a few laughs and maybe talk about the game or even politics or whatever - but it's not all pedal, pedal, pedal. Life is too short.