I just made this entry in my blog and thought I'd share it here:
Met Matt at Flatwoods for an early ride today. He had to hurry to hit his bootcamp class before he went to work. Have I mentioned he's nuts? Anyway, he doesn't have a road bike. He put fat slicks on what was his first mountain bike that's he's since replaced with a full suspension sweet ride but he's now using it for a commuter bike. Anyway, as strong as he is, he can't push that bike too fast for too long, so we had a nice paced ride but didn't push ourselves.
We're tooling along on the backstretch and we both hear a rather loud whistle coming out of the woods. We look off to our right and don't see anything, so we continue chatting. We hear another, then another. I thought it odd, cause I'd assumed it was runners in the woods trying to collect their group, but why was it keeping up with us? I finally heard a group of riders behind us. I veered off as close to the edge to the right as I could, and Matt went to the left. There was a wide area for them to slip through. A mouthy woman was giving instructions, telling Matt that the proper thing to do was to go off to the right. There were five of them I think, and they whisked on by.
I got pretty pissed. I've been riding at Flatwoods for, what, five years now? Longer? I've never been whistled at to pass. A hearty and loud "ON YOUR LEFT!" is sufficient to get my attention. I mean, I'm not your * dog. I've run into some pretty rude toadies, uh, I mean roadies in my time, but this really takes the cake.
They lapped us again, it's inevitable when we're tooling along at 15 mph and they're doing 20 something. I hear the whistle again. Matt makes a grand gesture and tells them to pass in French. The head guy pulls beside me and I sort of wobble. The mouthy woman demands, icily, "What are you doing?" as I stray from the right side of the path to the middle, I tell the guy, with what I hope is good humor:
"I'm not your dog, you don't have to whistle. An 'on your left' would be fine."
He said, "I did say it, you didn't hear me."
The lady at the end of their group, now down to four, smiled at me as she passed. Don't know if it was in derision of me or sympathy with my point of view. And off they went. I was still kinda cranky about it, but glad I addressed it without using the 'f' word, or escalating it into a confrontation, which was an accomplishment. Because really, in my heart of hearts, throwing tacks in their path crossed my mind.
Matt and I passed a group of three that had been in the parking lot the same time I was getting ready. I asked them, "Did you get whistled at, too?"
One of the women answered, "Yes, and it's 'cause we're sooooo hot!"
Matt and I cracked up. I thanked her for her perspective. What a way to put a positive spin on the situation. Instead of getting pissed, like I did, this delightful woman found a way to see the humor in it.