Wanky's post last week got me thinking.
I've been one of those guys to yell here or there. Rarely is it intended as aggression, and rarely do I intend to raise my voice more than necessary. Unfortunately, I'm usually already expelling a lot of air, so when you add in the vocal cords it comes out loud. Add in the edge provided by adrenaline, and it probably comes across as super-aggressive/asshole-ish/bigly.
In our average mid-range field, I ride with a lot of guys who are smarter and more experienced than I am. I also ride with a lot of guys whose strength far exceeds mine, but also exceeds their experience. They'll cut corners in unsafe ways. They'll sweep across the front of the field in a sprint. They'll make any number of small errors that, while not intentional, can have very serious consequences. I should know, I do stupid shit myself, and I should know better.
In the moment, with that surge of energy impending doom can bring, I yell. It's usually short, but it's always laced with impolite language. Some of it is actually intelligible. Usually the profanity. Then, when the immediate danger has subsided, I shut up. I don't have enough air to keep ranting about what happened five seconds ago, much less five laps ago.
Usually I try to find the person and explain in a calm, reasoned manner why I yelled, just in case my message was not conveyed in an understandable way via rage and spittle. My face doesn't always convey what I'm thinking. When I was a music education major, I could be conducting the most peaceful piece of music possible and afterwards I would be asked, "why are you mad at me?" by the third chair clarinet. I just have a way with people.
I like the people I race against, except for that one guy. You know who you are. If you don't, just assume it's you to be safe. If you think you know who he is, you're probably wrong. I want everybody to stay upright and keep all of their skin. Win, lose, or pack fodder, I want everyone to have a good time. I want everyone to come back and race again. Road racing is awesome, and having lots of participants ensures the awesomeness will continue.
Race enough around me, you'll probably hear me yell. Maybe at you. Maybe at myself. It's nothing personal, unless I'm yelling at that one guy.
Another thing to work on.


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