No Need for Speed

My time trialing days are all done;
I'm riding now strictly for fun.
No ego, no pressure, no ache,
My personal records to break.
Those trophies at home in a row
Are relics from long, long ago.
These days I'm not pushing the pace,
Preferring to cruise, not to race.

Some guys that I ride with are quick,
With cycles expensive and trick;
So light that they float up the climbs,
So aero they get lower times,
All fiber like carbon and such.
[They're nice, but they cost way too much.]
The guys are all fit, young and lean,
So fast that it's almost obscene.

But hey, that's no longer a threat;
I'm slow, but I have no regret.
Who needs to impress this wolf pack?
I tell them as I'm hanging back,
"Just leave me; I'm cool, guys, I swear.
I'll bring up the rear; I don't care.
Get going; I really don't mind.
I'll just keep on bumbling behind."

Much faster than me, off they lope;
I watch as they charge up a slope.
I smile; I don't need to go fast.
I guess I've matured at long last.
I'm happy to dawdle along,
Just smiling and humming a song.
Or thinking up poems like this,
Contented, relaxed, feeling bliss.

But wait just a second... I see
A sight that's distracting to me.
So this ditty now has to wait;
Like sharks when you dangle some bait,
I've spotted a cyclist ahead,
Which makes me forget what I've said.
My heart pounds, my pulse starts to race,
My hormones scream out, "Let's give chase!"

I shift up two gears and begin
My pedals much faster to spin.
My thighs ache as onward I dash,
To close up the gap in a flash.
My lungs gasp for much needed air,
But soon I'm in place, I'm right there.
I draft on his wheel for a while,
Then pull out and pass with a smile.

I smugly look back as I speed,
Still humping, increasing my lead.
He waves, saying "Have a nice day!
You're working too hard; you should play.
Relax, mellow out like I do;
I once used to race just like you,
But now that I'm older, I've found
I'm happy just cruising around."

For only a moment I thought,
'My efforts have all been for naught.
This guy didn't even compete;
My victory's not very sweet.'
But deep in my heart I could sense,
His casual air's just defense.
I laughed with a secret delight;
I chuckled to myself Yeah, right...

Your time trialing days are all done;
You're riding now strictly for fun
Until you encounter someone
That you can still maybe outrun.
But then your true colors will show;
Adrenaline starting to flow,
Your old racer instincts will out,
No matter how old or how stout.

You'll pant and you'll puff and you'll wheeze,
Displaying your mental disease
Your yen to compete and to win.
Oh sure, you can fake a big grin,
And swear you don't need to go fast,
But still... no one likes getting passed.
And all us old bike racers know:
It gripes your fat ass to be slow!

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Last updated Oct 6 2004