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A quick way to earn respect in the office...(29 posts)

A quick way to earn respect in the office...biknben
Oct 9, 2003 7:29 AM
I've been labeled the bike freak here at the office. Some of the guys aren't too accepting of the spandex, etc. They seem to think it's all a big show and give me grief. They think I'm getting all dressed up and whatnot just to lolligag around on my toy bike. The weekend races are just a neo-weenie-spandex party to them. During one of my commutes last week I set things straight.

The last couple miles of my morning commute are in a 25 mph zone. One of my co-workers drives up along side me, with his window down, and asks, "Wanna race?". I was doing around 18 mph or so at the time and he pulled away from me. I hesitated a little. I wasn't really in the mood. Then again, he is one of the guys that gives me a hard time.

I look in my mirror and notice a box truck coming up behind me. I immediately think, "There's my chance!!!" The truck goes by doing between 25-30 mph and I tuck in behind (but to the side a bit) and cruise. I remain there for about a mile. My co-worker is just ahead. The effort hurts the legs but the testosterone begins to flow. For a brief moment I considered passing the truck and bridging up. I don't think my legs could handle it I decide to play a waiting game.

The co-worker ends up slowing at a traffic light and I catch and pass him. I'm now about a mile from the office. There is a downhill followed by a false flat and a small climb right before my office.

On the downhill, I actually pull away from him a little. I try to carry my speed through the small valley to the false flat. He's slowly catching me. My legs are on fire and the road is getting steeper. I end up getting caught within 200 meters of the office and give him the thumbs up. I pulled into the parking lot just seconds after him.

Even though I lost the race, I made a lasting impression on this guy. While I changed and showered, he apparently went around an told a few people about the antics. They are now singing a different tune. Rather than busting my chops with sarcasm, they are keeping quiet or actually offering encouragement. Who woulda' thunk?!?
re: A quick way to earn respect in the office...scary slow
Oct 9, 2003 8:03 AM
I used to get a lot of grief here at the office also until one day in particular. The following is from a story I posted several months back. Another small victory for the "spandex freak show". Congrats on shutting up the guys in your office.

One of the big wigs of the company I work for was touring a potential client through our department this morning. This client is apprently worth a good deal of money to our company. Anyway they walk past my office and the big wig notices my bike in my office and makes some off handed comment about how professional it makes us look to have juvenile toys lying around the office. Well the potential client then starts to ask me questions about places to ride in the area and then proceeds to tell me all about his Colnago CT-1. Well said big wig is standing there in disbelief wondering how to get his foot out of his mouth. Just had to share this...
good show; similarly...DougSloan
Oct 9, 2003 8:17 AM
...got my office respect, when -- "508 miles? I wouldn't drive that far!"

Doug
My office: 30 miles?!! WOW! -nmgf99
Oct 9, 2003 8:25 AM
some guys in my office did a 20 mile century a few weeks agoSteve_0
Oct 9, 2003 8:59 AM
almost as good as 'Oh, you run marathons? Me too; my last was 5k!.
Doug, I thought you owned your office! nmPdxMark
Oct 9, 2003 8:59 AM
don't understand... nmDougSloan
Oct 9, 2003 9:24 AM
Thought you're a partner in a small (or solo) firm ...PdxMark
Oct 9, 2003 9:51 AM
so it was a heavily veiled tease about having to ride 508 miles to get respect where you're the boss...
sortaDougSloan
Oct 9, 2003 10:02 AM
I'm one of about 20 partners in a 36 lawyer firm. No big deal. I'm my boss and several other peoples' boss, but by no means *the* boss.

Also, there is a big difference between being a boss and being respected, and being respected for something other than your profession. There are plenty of lawyers and bosses that are idiots and deserve no respect.

Doug
Geez, all I had to do was beat people to the bar after work! nmdzrider
Oct 9, 2003 12:00 PM
It's easier here ...Humma Hah
Oct 9, 2003 8:20 AM
My boss, the lead hardware engineer, and the lead software engineer, are all MTBers. The software engineer doesn't look it, but he apparently has a VO2-max about 50% higher than any of us, and could kick some serious butt if he got serious about it. He can reportedly stay on a StairMaster at level 18 for half an hour or more.

But none of those guys have ever ridden a century, and so I have little trouble getting respect around here.

Its RIDING TIME I have a hard time getting! And showers ... durn, you gots showers? We had them in the old building, but lost them when we moved out here to the boonies.
maybe one of those chemical emergency showers? nmDougSloan
Oct 9, 2003 8:24 AM
Maybe a garden hose ...Humma Hah
Oct 9, 2003 8:34 AM
... the "corporate headquarters" is a converted sheet metal barn. They don't even have indoor plumbing yet ... maybe by the end of the month. Showers are not planned.

The lab is a 40-year-old blockhouse, left over cold-war construction on the Vint Hill army base, and kinda, well, Spartan. But we gots crappers, at least.

It's hard to find a safe cycling route TO here from home. But this place is half a mile off the NSA-OCE century route. Don't care if I stink, there's gonna be some riding from here.
Maybe a garden hose ...MShaw
Oct 9, 2003 8:44 AM
you need to hook up with my little brother. He lives in Nokesville...

The other thing that I've found is a good thing are baby wipes. Fast, disposeable, cheap.

Failing that Dr. Bronner's soap is a godsend!

Mike
Ah, the start/finish of the NSA-OCE!Humma Hah
Oct 9, 2003 8:53 AM
He should ride it the next time. Kennedy Road runs within sight of our back door. It becomes Fitzwater Rd at the county line, and that goes right into Nokesville, on the finish leg of the century.
Bad ideapitt83
Oct 9, 2003 9:29 AM
Ours are fed from water held in a tank above the ceiling. That water is rusty, smelly, cold and downright nasty. If you need it to save your life, it's fine and appreciated. Just when someone accidentally trips the safety shower, it's quite a scene. Lab carts are a common culprit.
Who needs a shower?gf99
Oct 9, 2003 9:12 AM
When you can use these:
http://www.drugstore.com/search/search.asp?aid=333840&aparam=_LSxz6nXzF8-uOURmyXCDfTVjHhG8iy8hw&searchtype=1&search=baby%20wipes

Your fresh baby-powder scent is sure to win the respect of your coleagues.
:)
As my sister said,PseuZQ
Oct 9, 2003 9:28 AM
"If they can clean baby poop they can probably clean you."
Even after Lance, sometimes you just gotta cram it down their..MXL02
Oct 9, 2003 9:19 AM
throats to make them "get it". I admit until I started cycling, I didn't think cycling was a "real sport". American provincialism I guess...the sad thing is that I have a brother who 15 years ago was a semi-pro racer/ triathlete, and I never even recognized the significance of what he was doing...my attitude was "geez, when are you going to get a real job?!" Although he and I are now a total cycling blood-bros, I regret not understanding the significance of his accomplishments and not being to share it with him at the time.

Anyway- great story.
Even after Lance, sometimes you just gotta cram it down their..innergel
Oct 9, 2003 10:28 AM
Tell your brother that you are proud of him for his past accomplishments on the bike and that you are sorry you didn't take it more seriously back then. It may be a bit late, but I guarantee he'll appreciate the sentiment. Esp. coming from his brother.
You should really tell your brother...Synchronicity
Oct 9, 2003 4:28 PM
...how you regret that you didn't appreciate what he was doing back then, but that you appreciate it now even though its too late.

Might make you even closer if you haven't told him already.
You Da Man!KG 361
Oct 9, 2003 9:41 AM
Good job. I don't have too much difficulty at work. Most think I'm strange but enough of them are active enough that they know that biking is not child's play. (You rode your bike up THAT?-I don't like to drive up that!) One co-worker's niece is married to a rider on a small pro team, so she has an idea of what it's all about.
Latest quote, "I did a really hard 12 miles this weekend"...theBreeze
Oct 9, 2003 9:42 AM
from a guy who came in to get a fitness consult yesterday. "That's good." I said.
Now I know you probably could find a really hard 12 miles somewhere, straight up a moutain or something. I think we all sometimes forget what the average "civilian" thinks is hard.
at 31 mph? ;-) nmDougSloan
Oct 9, 2003 10:06 AM
Latest quote, "I did a really hard 12 miles this weekend"...maddog
Oct 9, 2003 12:46 PM
Well, at least that guy rode 12 miles this weekend. He's less likely to think of you as "goofy" for riding as much as you do.

I understand your point, though ;)
That's a good one. We have a gal in our office...rwbadley
Oct 9, 2003 3:38 PM
that used to ride a little. When she found out some of the distances and hills we cyclists do around here she said 'are you nuts'? Since then she thinks I'm some sort of biking animal ala Lance. I'd hate to burst her bubble....

One time I raced a friend to a bar across town. It was about five miles or so and I knew 'the bike route'. By the time he got parked and walked inside I was there and had a beer waiting for him. He couldn't believe it. sweeet.
Bike/car contest in DC on Bike To Work Day ...Humma Hah
Oct 9, 2003 4:10 PM
... the bikes won both legs handily.
Bike/car contest in DC on Bike To Work Day ...thisendup
Oct 9, 2003 7:46 PM
The bike has won the bike/car contest here in Milwaukee every time, and that's obeying traffic laws.....
We have that same gal...innergel
Oct 10, 2003 7:42 AM
Just after the MS150 in April, I was out with a bunch of my co-workers. One of them mentioned the MS150 I just finished. After all the "you're nuts" and "I couldn't do that" comments, one woman asked me "Are you trying to go ride the Tour de France?" I just smiled.

This question is comparable to asking someone playing flag football on Saturday afternoon, "Are you trying to go play in the Super Bowl?"

Always good for a chuckle when non-riders start asking you questions about cycling.