So Brendan, as you may or may not have noticed, is on Spring Break. At least, I think he is. I haven't seen that dude for, like, days...so maybe he's ill, or overseas, or in Footscray at the new Arthouse.
Spring Break means better weather, and with better weather comes post ride eating/drinking. You wouldn't think something as simple as eating in tight clothing would be that difficult. But, as we speak, thousands of cyclists across Melbourne are making total asses of themselves in various cafes and eating joints, leading to what I'm going to call 'general cycling distaste.'
GCD comes about when approximately eighty three over weight men riding Specialized Venges with ZIPP 404s all arrive at a small inner suburban cafe, sprawl over any table available, and then demand two flat whites each, looking the wait staff in the eye only to complain there isn't enough sprinkly chocolate on their beverage. They will then almost certainly start squeezing the sweat out of their head bands/caps/over priced helmet, much to the horror/disgust of the normal customers who, in trying to drink a coffee in peace, have been subjected to the human equivalent of a herd of elephants gathering around a watering hole.
It's fair to say that this brand of Fred has given us all a bad reputation. Given I do most of my training at night, I quite enjoy rounding the night off with a burrito or a burger. That said, I'm sensible enough to sit outside, quietly eat my burger, and then get the hell out before anyone else asks what the putrid death smell is. Despite my caution, whenever I, or my friends, arrive at an eating establishment in lycra, we are looked upon as if we were masked and holding heavy weaponry, such is the fear and disgust on people's faces. Given that my presence isn't that offensive, I can only conclude that the young beautiful people of Fitzroy, almost all of whom seem to work in hospitality, have undergone horrific experiences at the hands of old men in shiny cloths.
So it is with some hope that we can set the rules straight. Although a general Fugazi-esque rule of 'don't be a fuckwit' should suffice, it doesn't seem that everyone has got the message. Here are the primary rules of post ride dining. Note that this is the bare minimum to avoid looking like yet another midlife crisis on tubulars.
1. Slow down as you approach the eating location. I can't count the amount of times I have seen some bloke yelling to his mate about how good his aero wheels are, as he nearly knocks over some stressed out waitress, causing her to spill the 9 baby-chinos being demanded by the mothers in the corner.
2. Lean your bike somewhere appropriate. Although passive aggressive notes on residential fences asking bikes not to be put there aren't exactly great, they are probably brought about by some dickhead placing his bike into a prize winning shrubbery or something. And, if you can see that the cafe restaurant windows are sparkly clean, maybe don't lean your filthy bike up alongside it, just so you can 'keep an eye on it'. Mate, you live in Malvern. No one is going to steal your whip. Everyone else probably has a better one.
3. Don't try and fit your whole bunch around a small table, filling the footpath with sweaty people. It's just shit.
4. Gloves, sunnies, helmets out of the way of others and the table. You wouldn't put your gym shirt on the dinner table would you?
5. Manners. It actually makes me angry how often you see a bunch of cyclists speaking rudely/indifferently to staff at eateries. Just make a little eye contact and say please and thankyou. Jesus.
6. Fussy orders. As a vegan, I'm aware I'm treading a fine line here but, seriously, just have your eggs on toast and bail. Now isn't the time to fuck around with Hollandaise and shitaki mushrooms.
7. Payment. This kind of relates to the sweat issue. Make sure your cash money or card is somewhere where it isn't going to get covered in sweat. You should see the horror in the eyes of the hospo worker who has to take three crinkled, dripping twenties. It's as if they just walked into Mordor with no lambas bread.
8. On leaving, try and make sure you don't knock over any prams, run any old ladies down, or generally make an ass of yourself.
This stuff really shouldn't be so tricky, but apparently it is (I have broken almost all these rules at some point). I'm sure it's the relationship between the euphoria of exercise, coupled with the thrill of 'broing down' with your mates that causes this kind of militant disregard for others around coffee shops and eateries. But, I figure, maybe, just maybe, if we change our behaviour where we eat after a ride, we're less likely to be abused and nearly killed by the mother of four in a BMW 4x4.
So, yeh, like. Melbourne Cyclists: listen to Fugazi, don't be a fuckwit.
See ya at the cafe.