Sunday, July 11, 2010

Corporate Americans and Cycling Groups: A Match Made in Heaven

Why Corporate American men are drawn to cycling groups:

1. Both corporate jobs and group rides offer the individual the chance to work together with a "team" while actually working toward purely selfish goals.  The same guy who lets you pull through the wind for 20 miles and then drops you like a chump on the way home is probably the same guy who took credit for all of the work you did on the "team's" board presentation last week.

2. Both offer a sense of belonging to a guy whose dreams of athletic grandeur died soon after he was cut from the JV soccer team in high school by allowing him to put on a silly suit and look like his friends.  There is a sad similarity in those Men's Warehouse duds and the color coordinated spandex get-up that matches his bike and water bottles.

3. Both allow you to buy your way out of lacking talent.  No time to train?  Buy a $10,000 set of wheels.  Don't really know what your customers are asking you?  Get them passes for a weekend cruise - they won't care if you're incompetent!

4. Both give a guy the chance to talk about numbers all day long, regardless of how useful or even necessary they are.  Ever listen to a few guys on a group ride switch back and forth between discussing last quarter's sales figures and wattage training?  After a few minutes the conversations are nearly indistinguishable.

5. Both offer a chance for artificial superiority.  That feeling you get when your company takes over some small business and you get a raise is probably a lot like the feeling you get when your group blazes by that poor sap riding alone on the open highway.  

6. Both seem to place a large and somewhat effeminate emphasis on shoes.

7. Both are a great excuse for gadgets.  A guy who only has one meeting every other week and no secretary needs a Blackberry just as much as the guy who rides 15mph for one hour every Saturday morning needs a wattage computer.  Want to schedule a sales meeting and check your cadence at the same time?  I'm sure there's an App for that.

8. Both offer the opportunity to sit around after a long day's effort and throw back a few beers with your teammates.  Still wearing your tie at Happy Hour?  Still wearing your bike shorts at a coffee shop?

9. Lance Armstrong has written inspirational books about both.

10. Both offer the same comfort and monotony associated with following the crowd.  Scared to get out there and go it alone?  Just keep staring at the guys ass in front of you and keep spinning your wheels. 


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