Cycling Public Announcement
I can't take credit for this as was passed onto me from a colleague:
Public Health Annoucement: Grand Touritis
Now then if you'll permit me, I'd like to speak seriously for a moment. I'd like to talk about Grand Touritis, a condition that afflicts thousands of cycling commuters in May and in August but particularly in July (maybe it's something to do with the pollen count). Cyclists who are otherwise entirely sensible and intelligent find themselves hopelessly drifting into a fantasy world whenever they're on two wheels. If you feel the onset of symptoms this handy guide might help you to combat the problem before it takes hold:
• When you leave your house for work or the shops or the pub, you are "leaving your house for work or the shops or the pub". It is not the "Grand Départ".
• Those things at the side of the road are "bus stops" not "feed zones". People waiting there do not have musettes they have handbags and rucksacks, and the Mars bar they are eating should not be snatched from their hands.
• Remember your water bottle is a water bottle, not "a bidon". When you have had a drink, place it back in its cage. Do not throw it towards the pavement – they're not free, you'll have to buy yourself a new one, it's littering and, let's be honest, no one is going to want to pick it up "as a souvenir".
• The other people on bikes that you are waiting with at the traffic lights are "other people on bikes waiting at the traffic lights" not "the peloton". Instructing someone to "neutralise an attack" is likely to get you short shrift. Suggesting it's someone's turn for "a pull on the front" could well spark violence.
• That slight incline up towards Costcutter is not "L'Alpe d'Huez". Do not try to skip up it with panache. The picture in your head will not match the probably rather disturbing view for other road users. Also: there is no need to mentally add the phrase "Col de" to whatever road you are riding on.
• Try not to lean into open car windows. The person inside is not your "directeur sportif" but "a frightened and possibly confused passenger". Motorists can also be afflicted: please note that screaming "ALLEZ! ALLEZ THIBAUT!" out of the window is only likely to make things worse.
• Friends, partners and house-mates are not "soigneurs". Massages are entirely at their discretion, not compulsory.
• There are no "intermediate sprint points" available between sets of traffic lights.
• You will have to fix a puncture yourself. The cyclist coming up the road behind you is not your "domestique". He or she does not have to give you one of their wheels. Any attempt to persuade them to do so is likely to end in shouting.
• When arriving at your destination, do not zip up whatever you are wearing, remove both hands from the handlebars and begin pointing to your chest. You're likely to fall off.