Monday, June 6, 2011

Banned Words

My list of banned words.
Cycling has its own vocabulary, as does corporate America. As these are the two Circles I choose to frequent, I have developed a distain for many a buzz word or overused moniker.  Here are my favorites. This is a living document, feel free to add as you see fit.

The Banished List:
Hammerfest: Leading the list by a large margin is hammerfest. I loathe this word. Every Cat 6, Type A, retard, who thinks they are the shit uses it to describe their BRUTAL 90 minute weekday group ride where every Fred in the tri county area armed with a pie plate and set of aero bars shows up and tries to drop one another. Hammerfest is the opposite of PRO. PRO is not riding off the front of some group randomly on a downhill tailwind while blowing through stop signs to gain a gap on the group is not impressive.  Sufferfest also included in this grouping.
Miler: Miles do not matter. Time matters. You go for 4 hour training rides, not 60 milers. “Yeah I did a super hard 25 miler this weekend on the bike path” 25 miles means nothing to me. Tell me the time. Additionally, understand why time matters and not miles.
Laterally Stiff & Vertically Compliant: Commonly used in bike mags to describe just about every bike they test. It’s a way of saying a bike is stiff when pedaling but comfortable. Its not that this property doesn’t exist, its just horribly overused to the point where it’s trite.
Artisanal: Used to describe bikes with soul. You bike does not have a soul. It’s made of some metal or fibers and glue.  It’s made from things that are not living. My made in Taiwan Caad 10 is every bit as rewarding to ride as your custom Ti Dentist Bike made by hand by some portly welder who’s smoked more weed than Cheech and Chong..I love all bikes, I just don’t approve of personification of bikes. It’s a tool for a job, whether it be winning a race or having fun, its still just a tool to accomplish an objective. Save Artisanal for a loaf of bread.

On the Fence:
I am not sure how I feel about these next few.
Pain cave: Used to describe the dark place you go to when suffering on a bike. “Going deep in the pain cave on today’s intervals.” I don’t go to a cave when I ride, I go to a road or a trail somewhere. I go suffer there. When I am suffering there, I am still there, not hanging by a rope in some cave with a Headlamp on or holding a canary or something.
Epic: Yeah I know, I race for Team Trans-Slyvania Epic pb/… 7 day mtb stage races over insane trail networks is epic. Don’t believe me? I dare you to look at this picture and argue otherwise. Doing an office park crit is not epic.  Riding to the coffee shop on Saturday morning is also not epic. Use it the right way and please don’t ruin this word. 

Add your own in the comments section!


Dan said...

I motion to have "Pain Cave" removed from this list, and "Epic" bumped up to be a full-fledged Banned Word. Kthxbye

Chris N. said...

Pain Cave is ok....

Here's my contribution to the banned list, not really words, more like actions:
(1) Claiming that you "could have won" a race if only you weren't blocked, caught behind a crash etc.
(2) Sprinting for a mid-field placing.

Colin R said...

Got your back on this one. Hate the personification of bikes.

Jake said...

I would move "Epic" to a list of words to be used very sparingly and only when the situation really warrants it. "Epic" rides should last at least 6 hrs (ride time), include a wide range of temperatures, unpredictable weather, joyous scenery, at least four mechanicals (two must be more serious than a flat), and leave every rider a worn, broken man or women by the end. By that metric, I have been on one epic ride.

@Chris N: Sprinting for mid-field placing is perfectly acceptable (and expected) in cyclocross.