Because I largely write about Colombian cycling, I often feel like a cultural ambassador of sorts (don't laugh, that's what my business card says), explaining nuances of Latin American life to all three of you who read this blog. Today's short post is no different. Below is a video of a commercial that aired often on Colombian television during the 1980s. Like other commercials from the time, it was probably produced in another country, which largely invalidates its cultural value. Having said that, the commercial gives us a great deal of information regarding the way that cyclists, roadies in particular, behave.
First, two grown men on bikes see a child having breakfast with a tiger. Rather than ask why the child is eating breakfast with a full grown tiger, or perhaps worry about his well being, the roadies challenge them both to a race by saying "we'll see how good you are". Mind you, these are adults, mockingly challenging a child and an oversized cat to a race. If there was ever a greater example of how idiotic and mean spirited roadies can be, I have yet to see it. They don't say "Hey kid, should we help you...since you're next to a huge tiger that might eat you?" No. They just challenge him and the animal that might eat him for breakfast to a race. Typical.
Luckily, the real-life Calvin and Hobbes manage to close the gap, which came about because the adults had a sizable head start. Eventually, they come close enough for the tiger to tell the kid, "go for it tiger!", followed by the child creepily growling at the adults in tight shorts. Scared, the adults realize how fast the kid and the tiger are, as they lose a Cat 6 sprint, and are badly demoralized. Their only response is, "they are really good!"...not "Holy mother of Jesus, was that a tiger riding a bike?"
Can you imagine losing to a kid and a large cat? Horrible, but at least they learned their lesson. I hope all of you did too. Don't go around writing checks that your legs can't cash. Particularly if you are writing said checks to a tiger and a kid with a knock off Sean Kelly-era Skil jersey.