If you cycle enough, if you turn big miles at a high pace, and eat well, you will find yourself gassy from time to time. It’s the nature of the beast. Why this is I don’t know but I know it is. I was a runner before I ever picked up a bicycle and while I was what we like to call “regular”, I was never all that gassy. Fast-forward five years and I’m almost comical.
Anyway, there is an etiquette to flatulence in a club ride. The only thing worse than making one of your friends ride through your noxious ass air is sucking their wheel without contributing to the effort. Ironically the two, ass air and wheel suckers, are intrinsically linked.
Allow me the opportunity to explain. In ridiculously technical terms, except “ass air” of course.
First and foremost, after you’ve been filling your lungs for a couple of hours and especially if you ride with a low cockpit, you will eventually find yourself having to break wind. Know this: After a decent amount of time in the saddle, you won’t get away with one of those gentle, lady farts. You’re gonna move some air.
In your favor, however, will be the wind whistling by… take advantage of this. It’s awfully tough to blast one loud enough to get over that. Now for the etiquette part. Fart at the back of the pack. Take a good pedal or two to build momentum, rise out of the saddle to avoid trapping it, and let it go. You’re momentum should mean you have plenty of speed to stay connected to the pack.
This is an unwritten rule of cycling and to break it is to be what I believe they call a twatwaffle. Say what you want, this is one of those you simply can’t argue with. There’s no, “Oh, those rules are bullshit, they’re just suggestions”. Nope, this is pretty much one of those “It’s a suggestion… In the same way they recommend you have a parachute on when you jump out of a plane”.
Now, there is one instance to break the wind… err rule. The aforementioned wheel sucker.
If he is really a close friend, my buddy Phill is a good example, then you either waive him up in front and let him know you’ll take your spot back in a second… Drop back, float that air biscuit and take your spot back. Or just point and pull over toward the middle of the road, arch your back and point your sphincter toward the middle of the road (the more you can look like a cartoon character with a pained expression the better) and let ‘er rip. Then take your place ahead of him again.
See, Phill is one of those rare birds… He will hide at the back for 90 miles then, when everyone is hit, he’ll charge to the front and pull the group home, so even though he’s suckin’ wheel like a bandit, you know he’s going to do you proud when it counts. You don’t want to foul that!
On the other hand, there’s that guy you never invite to the private rides because he’s a dick. Well, when you find that guy hiding, line him up like you’re lining up a torpedo tube and let him have it.
If nothing else, it’ll be well worth the laugh with the rest of the guys at dinner time.
So endeth the lesson on club ride flatulence. Do it at the back, unless he deserves it… In that case, fire in the hole!
[ED. Now, you may have noticed I did not mention women in this post. That is because, even though we are cyclists and we absolutely love a good laugh, we are gentlemen first… That, and I didn’t think there could possibly be a feminist who would call me a sexiest pig for not including the oft required he/she or him/her when it comes to launching a butt torpedo in someone’s face. Please don’t prove me wrong.]