You’re late. This happens because you like riding bikes more than you like not riding bikes. So, the two hour spin you sketched out in loose terms in the morning, turned into a three four hour ride on the good ship AWOL. You’re riding home, and part of you wants to go faster, to limit the damage, and the rest of you wants to slow down. You’re in trouble anyway, might as well enjoy it.
The yarns I spin are multiple, overlapping, and implausible. The first rule, in my experience, is to blame someone else. If you’re not too, too late, then you can always go with the Friend-X-Had-a-Mechanical-and-I-Couldn’t-Leave-Him/Her/Them excuse. This has two benefits. It’s not your fault, and you’re actually, despite being late, a good friend. This is the most shameful and disingenuous lie, and usually your best bet.
What you shouldn’t say, but is fairly believable here in New England, is that you got lost. I push this one to the point of being ludicrous, by simultaneously blaming satellite technology. It sounds like this, “Baby (start with some term of affection…it’s signals that you’re lying, but that you’re too cute to be mad at), I don’t know what happened. Google Maps and my GPS both said there was a road there, but guess what? And then, when we tried to work around it we ended up lost in <insert unfamiliar town name here>. It took an hour to get back on our route.”
Don’t say you lost track of time. You’re not nine. It might be true, but it’s the worst excuse ever.
The real hail mary play here is the truth. You went out really intending to ride for two hours, but it’s been a long week. You needed more. There was a point where you could have/should turned back, but you felt so good, and the sun was shining, and you know what you said, and you should have texted, and it represents a real and true character defect that you know you need to work on, but you kept riding, because you love it and you needed it, and you’re sorry. But, you’re not actually that sorry.
This week’s Group Ride asks, what’s your best/go-to excuse for being out on the bike too long? Maybe you’re past this stage of your life, where commitments reign and time is a battleground to be fought for, or maybe you have an understanding with your significant other, such that words are no longer necessary or relevant. I lie. And I lie, not because I’m dishonest (necessarily) or because I feel terrible, but because I feel as though the concoction of a good story is part of the apology. It’s as if to say, ‘let me not bore you with an apology…let me, instead, entertain you with some audacious parping about a scenario that is part fable, part truth, and part admission of my unworthiness.’ It is, in many ways, more honest than the truth.
Image: Jake Bridge