Tag Archives: Tourette Syndrome

The Foul Mouthed Cyclist

Yesterday’s beautiful weather meant the countryside was a hive of activity.  As I headed home at the end of my ride I passed many cyclists going in the opposite direction.  Each time we passed, we repeated one of the accepted rituals of acknowledgement:  a nod, a subtle wave, the occasional word of greeting.

That was until I passed Mr X:

Me:  (Nodding head)  “Morning!”
Mr X:   (Waving fist in aggressive manner)  “You @#~%er!”
… and then he was gone.

It’s perhaps an understatement when I say our brief exchange took me by surprise.

Mr X

I understand that there’s tension between Car Drivers and Cyclists.  I am also led to believe that from time to time there’s no love lost between Mountain Bikers and Road Cyclists, however I was always under the impression that Road Cyclists were civil to each other… until now.

As I cycled on, I considered the potential reasons why Mr X might have behaved in this way.  To be honest, I couldn’t think of a huge number:

  1. I was flying at the time we passed each other.  I was on a long descent, averaging between 25-30 miles per hour.  I was on the final stretch of my ride and feeling pretty good about life.  Mr X, on the other hand, was at the start of a long, slow, tiring ascent.  Perhaps he was having a bad day and just couldn’t contain his frustration.   I have a small amount of sympathy if this was the case.
  2. Perhaps he had Tourette’s Syndrome and I was on the receiving end of a verbal tic.  The situation was completely irrelevant to his response.  If this was the case, I would not poke fun.  However I would encourage other cyclists to be ready for this eventuality so it doesn’t take them too much by surprise.
  3. The third option, of course, is that Mr X is an expert in body language and had watched me carefully as the distance closed between us.  Having performed a thorough assessment, he had a couple of seconds to deliver his considered opinion.  Perhaps he got it spot on!

Whatever the case, I would encourage you to be nice to each other, and if you can’t be nice, be honest!