Uncomfortable laughter and disbelief

Five years ago, I thought it would be interesing to publish a string of posts here on the blog, all of which would be written in someone else's voice. In them, I would more or less do written impersonations of other bloggers, down to their style of writing, preferred subject matter and the type of  imagery they normally used. My first attempt was a post written in the style of Stevil from the fantastic All Hail The Black Market. But upon trying it, I quickly gave up on the idea. The post wasn't all that funny, and I quickly realized that most people wouldn't get the failed joke anyway. And if they did, they might think I was making fun of him, which was not the case at all. So I scrapped the idea. But in doing so, and in attempting to channel someone else's voice, I realized how different someone else's take on cycling can be.

For example, even if I tried, I could never produce many pictures of me riding a bike with other people, let alone ones of me hanging out with bike-y people in the woods having a good time and laughing, or at a bike-related event of any kind (as Stevil, who is a fun and outgoing guy, often can). Cycling for me‚—not just the act of riding a bike, but everything that surrounds it— is a lonely affair, one which is always accompanied by the "Lonely Man" theme song from the Hulk TV show. You know the one...

My life is pretty much the same, except that instead of Dr. David Banner walking slowly on a road, it's me riding slowly on a road. 

Riding by myself and not knowing many people who ride bikes suits me. I prefer it. But it does become an issue from time to time, on the rare occasion when someone says they want to ride with me. That's because it's at those times that I realize just how much other people ride their bike, and thus how little I do it. Over the years, I've tried to let people know that riding with me is not a good idea, because it will be an absolute bummer for them. They think I'm being modest or sandbagging (I guess some people who ride bikes do this). Not the case, as they'll quickly learn if they do in fact want to test out their theory by riding with me. In doing so, they'll find out that I'm not only being truthful, but also that riding around with an anchor like me is the opposite of fun. That by the way, is also true when it comes to being around me off the bike. I'm pretty much the opposite of fun. 

So after years of this, I've finally realized that the best and most efficient way to communicate where I currently stand in terms of fitness (or lack thereof) is to simply say the number of miles I've ridden in the last year. The number is usually greeted with uncomfortable laughter, and disbelief.

Their laughter and disbelief is immediately followed by the first notes from the Lonely Man song from the Hulk. You know the one. 


Marginalia

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