Inappropriate Competitiveness

I think there’s something seriously wrong with me.  Now, that may not be so much of a surprising comment to those who know me – but this grand enlightenment came to me Saturday while participating in a fun-only, organized ride to benefit the Pennsylvania State Police (a review will be forthcoming).

Anyway, it dawned on me that – even though this event was in no way a race – I find that I like the thrill of passing people on bikes.  It’s really weird, but when I catch sight of riders ahead of me, I want to catch them and pass them.

I don't care what they're riding - Bring 'em on!

I don’t care what they’re riding – Bring ’em on!

It doesn’t matter to me whether they are people who are on campground bikes, riders with babies (or dogs) in tow, or even a group of old ladies who are out on their cyclewagons.  There’s something inside that just clicks and makes me want to whiz past them.  If I can do it on a climb, it’s all the better!

I was able to overtake one group of riders on a flatter section of the course.  As I approached the rider at the back of that pack, I prepared to say, “On your left” as I started to pass (oh how I love to say that…).  Before I had the chance, that last rider announced to the rest of the group:  “Car back!”  I prepared to get close to the shoulder of the road to let that car pass – only to have her say a few pedal strokes later:  “Oh sorry – not a car.”

What?  She took me for a car?!?

I’m really not sure if I was offended or flattered that she thought I was a car passing.  I know I’m not the smallest rider – so maybe the pure mass of my body and the air displacement created the illusion of a vehicle barreling down on that group.  Maybe I was grunting or breathing hard enough to sound like a motor.

I joked with the riders that I was big enough to be a car.  That last rider said it was because of how fast I came up upon them that made her erroneously consider me a vehicle.  I think she was just trying to make me feel better.

Secretly, it did.

I smiled to myself as I continued on up the road – yep, the old competitive side of me showed its ugly face.

The ride itself was 41 miles long.  I’m happy to report that I passed a number of riders along the way – and didn’t get passed as I rode along (Oh how I hate to get passed on these non-competitive rides – especially by people on regular mountain bikes or, even worse, tandem bikes).

Hopefully, I’m not the only Inappropriate Competitor in the bunch.  Have any of you found yourself secretly dominating the field of fun riders?


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