The other day I was out on a ‘social’ ride with some class riders, to say the least. Whilst trying to hold the wheel in a crosswind (tornado, if it adds to the drama), I got to thinking that maybe it was my bike and not me that was making it such a slog – I’m sure you know the feeling. Fortunately, the gods were kind, we soon made a sharp turn, and were swept up by a delicious tailwind.
Once partially recovered and rehydrated with a coffee, I started thinking about one of my mountain biking buddies. We’ll give him the alias of Bob as I don’t think he’ll appreciate my brutal honesty. Anyhow, most weekends Bob and I go and do a XC event. They’re nothing serious – just a bunch of has-beens thrashing around a 40-km circuit and enjoying some friendly competition. Now, Bob’s quite a lot older than myself and he works hard for a living, not just tapping at a keyboard and drinking coffee; so, I generally have to wait a while after finishing for him to roll in. As the minutes pass, I try and guess his excuse (sorry, reason) for a slightly delayed finish – there’s one every time. So, in no particular order, here are his top 12 reasons:
Puncture (generally, at least two)
Brakes – stuck on, not working, wrong pads, or any other variant you can think of
Obstruction on the course – dogs, walkers, people pushing, landslide, flash flood
Bad signage – he took a 15-km detour and would have been back ages ago
Vision – mud, sweat, rain, insects, someone blocking his view
Helping – directing a tourist, aiding the elderly, pulling a car out of a ditch
Wildlife – dog attack, bird attack, deer attack
Spokes – had to stop and re-lace and re-tension his spokes
Disease – bronchitis, pneumonia, malaria, avian flu, broken bones
Chain broke and had to repair it with a zip tie
Ridden too much or ridden too little
Any possible gearing issue normally involving the front mech, though he only rides on the big ring
Personally, I’m a fan of number 11 – ask me anytime, and I either haven’t ridden for ages or I’m on a ‘recovery’ ride. Needless to say, during the other day’s ride, I drew a straight ‘legs eleven’ when playing excusitis bingo.
If you’ve got a great excuse, I’d love to hear – just pop it in the comments section below. And if not, I hope Bob’s given you something new for your armoury for excusitis bingo.
Photo Credit: Dylan Nolte