Dear Tell All: I've got a ridiculous problem - so ridiculous that I'm writing to a newspaper advice columnist for help.
I've been taking the same commuter route on the Southwest Bike Path for years. That's how I've come to know the idiot I'll call Blue Lycra Guy.
Blue Lycra Guy seems to be a macho man with a big ego, because he hates to be behind anybody. Now, I have no problem with somebody passing me. Really, who cares? But Blue Lycra Guy turns it into a psychodrama. He'll huff and puff to pass me, then relax once he's got the job done. He'll actually be in front of me pedaling slower than I am, forcing me to ride the brake!
What am I supposed to do in a situation like that? I could go slower than I normally would, just so I don't seem like I'm engaging in juvenile one-upsmanship by passing him right after he passed me. Or I could decide to pass him - as I've done a few times - and get sucked into the craziness. When I do that, he speeds up to pass me again, then does the slow-down routine. Argh!
What's the best way to respond to such asinine behavior?
Give Me a Brake
Dear Brake: I'm going to ignore your condescending remark about newspaper advice columnists and solve your problem for you.
You shouldn't pass Blue Lycra Guy, nor should you ride behind him more slowly than you normally would. Bring a book, a magazine or a bit of work in a backpack on your rides to and from the office. When this guy enters your space, pull off to the side of the bike path and keep yourself occupied for three or four minutes. Then continue along your merry way, with Blue Lycra Guy safely out of sight.
This is a case where you need to completely remove yourself from - as you put it - the psychodrama. There's no need to let someone like him get inside your head.