Is it ironic that the only cyclist nominated for this year’s BBC Sports Personality of the Year is Mark Cavendish? And is it any wonder he didn’t win (and beaten by a bloke who races sitting on top of a horse for heaven’s sake!)? The Manx Missile, crippled for much of the year by cosmetic dental surgery (vain), returning to win with vindictive victory salutes (petulant), causing a crash through dangerous sprinting (reckless), to moan about his lack of bonus and pay increases at HTC Columbia (arrogant, ungrateful), but then coming good by winning multiple stages at the Tour (all is forgiven! LOL! XOXOXOX). Us fan boys allow his shortcomings to be overshadowed by his lightening speed, but even we know he’s a bit of nob.
Just as well Cav didn’t actually win SPOTY (that would really spell the end of our monopoly on cycling as the mainstream – dressed in replica Team Sky kit and wearing helmets with visors – wrestles our beloved minority interest sport away from us), but even his nomination is a sure sign that an abrasive personality is no barrier to fame, fortune, dating ‘Page 3 stunna’ Peta Todd, and to cap it all, being lauded by the Big British Castle.
So, make like Cav with these handy tips on how you too can annoy and infuriate those around you, whilst basking in the protective glow of cycling righteousness:
Passive Aggressive on the club run
When riding two abreast on the Sunday club run, make your way to the front of the group and gradually increase your speed. Your riding partner will notice the change in pace and will respond to match yours. Just as he catches up, slow back down again until you are level with his rear wheel. No doubt, and by this point becoming slightly irritated, your partner will once again modify their pace. Do not look at the target of your malevolence, nor even acknowledge their existence. Remain looking forward, eyes fixed on the road. After repeating this several times, and just as you sense your fellow cyclist’s tether is about to snap, fumble for something in your back pocket and drift to the back of the group never to show your face at the front again for the duration of the ride.
Share the road: One for you, two for me
Ride in the middle of the road at all times. It’s your right as a conscientious, environmentally responsible member of society to be able to ride the roads in a manner befitting your benevolent status. Wave and smile at those motorists who choose to pass whilst refraining from either abusing you or causing you grievous bodily harm.
Blame everyone but yourself
Any accident, near miss, altercation or broken wing mirror is certainly not your fault but that of the motorist. If you have to brake suddenly in Richmond Park because of deer crossing your path then make it known in a forthright manner that such inconveniences are unacceptable. Fit a bell to your bike and use candid language to communicate your right of way to any pedestrians that may dare to challenge your dominance of the road.
Jump red lights
Because it goes without saying. I mean, why would you stop? Everyone hates us all already, so screw ‘em.