There are some things adults shouldn’t do and riding bicycles is one of them.

    Where I live, a lot of adult people dress up in skin-tight multi-colored Tour de France abstract outfits and ride bikes all over the roads in packs, like Hell’s Parents armed with Shimano paddle shifters.

    They’re a hazard to decent citizens who just want to get to work without getting run off the road, goof off when they get there, and arrive home without a reason to call their auto insurance companies before they mix their first martini.

    The first documented automobile crash in the United States occurred in New York City in 1896 when a motor vehicle collided with a bicyclist, and instead of accepting that event as the wake up call it should have been to stay out of the way of legitimate transport, cyclists have just grown more arrogant with each passing year.

    Every time I drive around a curve these days I either have to crawl behind a pack of bicycles until I reach a straightaway or risk my life swinging into the other lane, hoping I won’t meet my maker next to twenty thousand dollars’ worth of titanium as it struggles to support a pack of wheezing generation X-ers (who would look a lot less silly if they dressed up as pirates and ballerinas instead of emulating overpaid European amphetamine addicts).

    I had a Schwinn when I was a boy. 

    It had three gears and I didn’t change into latex overalls to ride it.

    You never even saw adults riding bicycles back then.

    People over the age of 25 stayed inside, watched TV, drank beer and hard liquor, and fantasized about sleeping with their neighbors.

    That was called “acting like an adult.”

    Adults also dressed with some sense of decorum when they engaged in any athletic activity, but today that’s considered old fashioned.

    I play tennis and I wear tennis whites.

    The people I play with wear clothing that looks like bad finger painting and it just accentuates their spare tires.

    I keep planning to buy a set of finger paints. 

    I don’t know whether swirling my fingers around in thick globs of colors on a soft piece of paper will be soothing or if I’ll find that it’s just too messy.

    Maybe finger painting is another thing adults shouldn’t do.

    I’ll find out.  In fact, at some point in the near term future, I probably won’t have a choice.

    Adults shouldn’t run on the stairs, nor should anyone else, except dogs, who are naturally good at it.

    Some people put booties on their dogs.  They think it’s cute, but it’s not very good for the dogs’ traction.

    When I see a dog in booties I start rooting for the dog’s teeth.

    Children dress their dogs up sometimes, and that’s okay, but adults shouldn’t put booties on dogs unless they’re willing to start lifting their own legs in public to pee. 

    Fair is fair.

    Ever watch the Tour de France on television?

    From the booties to the helmets: I don’t think they design those outfits, they assemble them from swatches of bad dreams.

    It’s like watching anorexic, psychedelic beetles on speed.

    And it turns out most of them are on speed which is probably why they look so anorexic.

    If you’re an adult and you absolutely insist on riding a bicycle, here are the rules:

    1. Wear clothes, not clown suits.

    2. Stay in your neighborhood, not on real roads that carry real traffic.  It’s not fair to give drivers such tempting targets, especially considering the cost of automobile insurance these days.

    3. If you must ride outside of your neighborhood, find a trail in the woods where you’ll only pose a danger to squirrels and yourself.  We could use a few less squirrels, and if you have a sudden need to swerve without warning, instead of driving an innocent driver off the road you’ll just have to reason it out with a tree.

    4. Try a bicycle built for two.  If you can’t convince your spouse to be seen riding a bicycle with you, maybe you should stick to an excercycle in a gym, where you can wear ridiculous outfits and feel right at home and the only time anyone has to pass you around a dangerous curve is if you’re standing next to one of the female aerobics instructors.


Dear Major Ashpole,

  Riding bicycles has been recognized by virtually all organizations devoted to good health as a desirable, low-impact, aerobic exercise that promotes physical and mental well being.

  Your comments regarding adult bicycle riders are inappropriate at best, and misrepresent the conduct of bicycle riders, who, as a group, are a safe and responsible segment of society.

   Wait a minute.  I have to stop laughing.


   In fact, studies have shown that the majority of accidents occurring between motorists and bicyclists are the motorist’s fault.

  I hope that in the future you will provide accurate information when discussing adult bicyclists.

Foster Bicking

Vice President, Knee-Jerk Responses

Bicycle Manufacturers Association of America

Dear Foster,

   I don’t plan to provide any additional information whatsoever about adult bicyclists.  That’s your job, isn’t it?

   As for whom “studies” find at fault in accidents occurring between motorists and bicyclists, it’s like back in elementary school:

   No matter what a girl said or did, as soon as she started to cry, the boy was always wrong. 

    Girl=bicycle, boy=motorist.

Dear Major Ashpole,

   Your objectification of female aerobics instructors as having “dangerous curves” constitutes an example of the sexism that still runs rampant in our society.

   All aerobics instructors, whether male or female, should be judged by their training, and their ability to help their clients get in shape and stay in shape, not by how curvy their bodies are.

   For the record: I am 36-23-36, 5’ 11’, single, and I enjoy concerts, hiking, and dancing late into the night with men in good shape who can demonstrate their exceptional endurance on and off the dance floor.

Tawny Quiver

Director of Aerobic Conditioning

Five Lakes Health & Life Fitness Positive Karma Spa

Dear Tawny,

   Thank you for your thoughtful comments.

   I have to go lie down now.

Dear Major Ashpole:

   I don’t know why people always make fun of adult finger painting.  It is in fact a wonderfully relaxing activity. I find it helps me to collect my thoughts and better understand why no one but me knows the truth about our ever-changing society.

Bill O’Reilly

America’s Savior

Fox Entertainment Programming (aka “Fox News”), NY

Dear Major Ashpole,

   I’m 26 years old. 

   I spend a fair amount of time watching TV and drinking beer and hard liquor, and fantasizing about sleeping with the MILF next door.

   But I don’t think I’m going to feel like an adult until I move out of my parents’ house into a place of my own.

   The thing is: Since I’m over 25, am I too much of an adult to ride my bicycle, or do I qualify as a kid as long as my mom still cooks my dinner?  And is it really wrong to have a bike with more than three gears?

[Name and address withheld, not because this “kid” was smart enough to ask, but because I have at least some sense of propriety]

Dear Child,

   Considering your current living situation, I suggest you spend less time worrying about bicycle gears and spend more time getting your ass in gear.


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