Any man who says he isn't competitive is lying and I'll wrestle him to prove the point. I've started cycling to work. There's no better evidence for this competitive streak than being in a group of men on bikes. It’s amazing how quickly a commute can turn into a vicious stage of the Tour de France. Still, I'm okay with losing. I don't want to die of a heart attack while riding to work just because some Lycra-clad accountant called Kevin beat me to the city. Some men are absolutely manic about it. I passed a man the other day and it triggered some primal response which caused him to start growling as he stood up on his pedals and flew past me at a great rate of knots. Of course, he was knackered from this beastly effort and I overhauled him shortly afterwards, resulting in numerous episodes of furious pedalling and grunting on his behalf all the way to the city.
The thought of being overtaken can sometimes force me to dig deep. One day I was wobbling up a large hill when I noticed the light of a bike getting closer behind me. I mashed my pedals for a couple of minutes and looked back. The light was even closer. I repeated this effort until my lungs felt like they’d burst. Still, my stalker kept coming. Eventually my pursuer went past me as he continued up the hill. He was 70 years old and was riding an electric bike. He wasn't even pedalling.
"Evening!" he said.
Next time I see him, I'll ask him if he wants to wrestle.
in Nathan, Queensland, Australia2,886