Skip to main content

Getting Your Butt Kicked by 70-year-olds

Yuma, AZ. Before I lose track of the theme of last post, I want to use a tangible -- and even life-and-death -- example to pound the nail home. Novelists and moral philosophers need to give more emphasis to distinguishing the Tactical and the Strategic in a person's life.

The world is more regulated than it used to be. Therefore, on a daily basis, a powerless individual must follow all the rules and be outwardly conventional. Rather than write off the modern world as a glorified prison, a non-defeatist must imagine how Strategic independence can thrive, like mushrooms, even when growing in the muck of conformity.

On the way back home on today's bicycle ride, the Old Boyz were kicking my butt pretty good. This is a good thing, all in all. Two miles from the end we had to turn left at a stoplight on a busy federal highway. Despite the advantages to road-cycling in a group, there are still pitfalls, such as handling an intersection based on how the other cyclists handled it.

The pitfall is in thinking that what was safe for them is automatically safe for you. It ain't necessarily so. I handled this intersection poorly. It wasn't terribly dangerous, but it could have been.  

I should have just told myself, "So you are going to be dropped at this light. The ride is almost over, anyway. Who cares?  I want to live to ride another day." But let's not just see this on the level of "practical" procedure. What is the principle involved?

The underlying mistake was that of not switching from the Battle (not letting those old buzzards get ahead of me) to the War (long term health, physical fitness, and fun).


Also known as "Be your own man".
John V said…
It sounds like mountain biking is more fun.
Allison said…
Everyone must make their own traffic decisions.
Very well then. Your mission is to buy a full-suspension mountain bike, but I won't pressure you to ALSO get a road bike.
Indeed they do, but it is easy to forget that when you are caught up in the chase, second-by-second, and have lost track of the big picture.
TomInBellaVista said…
Being in my 70's, I feel I have to comment on how nice it is to think that there are geezers who can still drop a dedicated biker such as yourself. Not to say that I am among them.
It's never too old to get into the Way of the Wheel, Tom.
John V said…
Should I get one of the big boy 29ers or stick to the little girl 26er? :-)
edlfrey said…
A lesson learned! Road riding in a group is safer as you have pointed out a few times but ONLY if you ar IN the group. Those at the front of the pack and those that that are falling off the back of the pack are at the most risk.
You have also discovered that road riding is a Team Sport. You could probably hang in there with those 70 year old geezers if it were one-on-one but they are a Team. You will only beat them when you get your own Team to work for you. The other thing you must remember is that I bet every one of those geezers is on drugs. I have ridden with that kind of a group - I know of what I speak.
Indeed, I've ridden with cycling groups where people drop you at the first traffic light right out of the parking lot. It pisses you off and you are tempted to run the red light to catch up with them.

Talk about a two-edged sword. And the sword is so sharp! That's why I seized on it as an example.