A group of social riders have chosen my local cafe as a place to lean their 15K bikes on display and sit around in matching team kits they all went out and bought as a group. Wearing cycling caps, and with studied gestures learned from watching le Tour on TV, they sip their espressos as though they were extras in Lance Armstrong: The Movie. Yet I know none of their faces, or flabby unshaven legs, from the bike racing scene. Come to think of it, it is usually when I am madly rushing off to a race, that I see these guys gathered, just lounging around with nowhere to be.
If I knew for sure they were doctors, I would buy stethoscopes for all my bike racing buddies, and we would go hang around their hospital cafeteria. If I knew they were barristers, we would don wigs and find a cafe there near the courthouse. If I knew they were pilots, we would prance around airports in aviator sunnies and 80s style leather jackets with patches. And we would guffaw about our patients’ gonorrhea, murder cases we were defending, and our carpet bomb raids over Gaza. "Oh, but we’re all real doctors," we would tell them if they complained. "Look at our costumes."
No doubt I sound petty, and unable to rise above an innocuous slight. How though, can I set matters right, and tell witnesses to this charade that the cycling world’s gear and costumery pales into insignificance when the actual racing begins! Some of the best local riders have the least flashy gear, and visa versa.