I find it hilarious that in a day when we know only too well not to underestimate your opponent, that the type of person that really doesn’t know he sucks, still doesn’t know he sucks.
On a recent after work ride, I pulled up at my local trails wearing the same black denim shorts and grease stained t-shirt that I’d been tinkering with bikes in all day long, completely unaware of the fact ‘Nigel’ was sniggering at my appearance. Nigel was unloading an ultra expensive bike from what can only be described as a mid-life crisis soft-top sports car; which would have looked far more suited to camp Freddie and his groomed poodle…
Kitted out in expensive kit on his spanking new ride, Nigel boded me a good ride, and rode off with a smug look- which drew a wry grin from me. I’ve never seen a soul on these trails, and I can ride them flat out, come rain or shine, night or day.
So you can imagine my delight when I discovered that Nigel wasn’t too hot on the trails- coughing and spluttering up ahead I put the pressure on, and childishly sat in behind him, forcing him to up the pace.
But I’m not a bully and it was enough to make me feel better, so I pulled out and overtook him- leaving no question of my intention of being here to ride fast, on a trail I know.
But he wouldn’t back off, so what was an after work thrash turned in to a race. So I lead him through the most technical sections I knew, and down the dirtiest little chutes around- feeling him drop back with every turn, rock step or pack of roots.
And then I lead him up the worst hill climb I knew. Hard.
I knew it hurt him bad, as I pushed it practically to hurling level- and didn’t see him again. But I knew which route he’d be heading back to his car, so I rode flat out to the nearest place I could get a beer in plain view. And I fought back tears of laughter whilst keeping the straightest face I could as he rode past wheezing like an old dog, resisting eye contact with the mechanic that knew better…