Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Bullied on the Bike

Bullying is a serious issue. Kids, if you’re being bullied, please tell someone. “Reverse bullying” (little kids bullying grown men) is also real.

I am a victim.

After camping with my son Fri night, Sat afternoon I was in my driveway, minding my own business and about to embark on a nice brick workout. While pumping up my tires, out of nowhere I heard the screeching of rubber on concrete. I looked up to find myself completely surrounded by an ominous looking street gang, comprised of five ~6-8 year old kids on their dirt bikes.

“Listen, fellas, I don’t want any trouble.”

Thinking the worst they could do was mug me for my water bottle and energy gel, I stood my ground and addressed the apparent leader of the crew. In place of a respectful response, almost immediately the reverse bullying and hurtful words came showering down upon me.

“He rides without socks… he’s weird!!” one shouted, as the others laughed.

“And his shoes are attached to his pedals!” another observed gleefully.

“Oh yeah?” I responded, “well at least I have a helmet! Where are yours?” (pointing to 2-3 kids in the crew riding without)

“We don’t need’em cause we’re faster than you.”

Lastly, a fourth kid chimed in, commenting that my tires were “too skinny.”

Against all odds, by the time my Garmin was ready to roll we were actually able to find a little mutual respect. I even led them Tour de France style once around our neighborhood.

Then, you wanna know what I did??

I left those kids in the dust.

My third half Ironman and last tri of the season is this weekend… hopefully I can do the same against slightly better competition.

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