You’re only as cool as the biggest douche on your team. I ride for a shop team, BioWheels-Reece/Campbell Racing. If one of my teammates were to run a stoplight, I run a stoplight. If one the riders on the team litters a GU wrapper, it may as well have been me. However, perception is reality. Truth is you’re not only a douche to the rest of us who are in the know about bike racing teams and group rides. Outside our little two-wheeled Kumbayah singing Cincinnati circle you’re not on a team or the weekly group ride, you’re a part of a larger group known as those bike riders.
This past week a local team got thrown under the virtual Facebook bus. I’d name them, but at this point it’d be rubbing salt in the already oozing road rash. A veteran rider pointed out he saw the team run a red light in busy traffic. A day or two earlier, a team member was seen littering a wrapper. Ba bam! They were called out on Facebook by their team name, the equivalent of an atomic public chamois wedgie. Right now they are wishing they had eaten Spanish steaks via a syringe.
Needless to say, they won’t be making “the list” anytime soon. It’s too bad. There are a lot of great people on that team, friends of mine, well educated people, true advocates of the sport and the city. However, it wasn’t so-and-so who littered or ran the red light. To those that witnessed the events, it was the team.
Then again, as the veteran rider pointed out, it wasn’t only the team. Motorists and city residents don’t associate certain color combinations of spandex as team uniforms. That’s inside information. Yesterday I was talking to a neighbor of a friend while in my kit that says BioWheels in 19 different places. We were chatting about local bike shops. They didn’t even realize that I was wearing a BioWheels team uniform and my friend was wearing Smitty’s kit, two area shops only miles away. Regular people only see people on bikes. When they see someone litter or run a red light, they see you, a bike rider.