Baseball is the great American pastime, but way more people ride bikes. If you tune into a baseball game, especially if you haven’t watched one for a long time, one thing that might strike you (not literally I hope) is the amount of spitting going on. I don’t know what baseball players have in their mouths. I don’t know what they eat and drink, but whatever it is, it must leave an awful taste behind. Those guys are veritable fountains of saliva, and I’ve never seen a thing like that in a mall, by the food court. It’s just not appetizing.
But many cyclists are spitters too. And that’s before we even get to the topic of snot rockets. Quite how TCI Friday, and the Friday Group Ride that came before it, have never addressed the topic of bike-related expectoration mystifies me.
Confession time: On the bike, I spit AND blow snot rockets, and I’m not sure how I became that person.
If your estimation of me, as a person, has just gone down, that’s good news. It means it was much higher than I had suspected previously. You’re probably right on the money now.
I don’t think I was always a spitter on the bike. I think I learned that from other people I rode with. Their spitting gave me the license to spit. Scientifically speaking, exercise does lead to the secretion of a certain protein that makes our saliva thicker, which in turn makes it harder to breathe. So there’s a reason. Some people will take a pull on their water bottle, filled with carbohydrate solution, and then spit that out without swallowing. This is called ‘carb rinsing’ and what it does is fool the brain into thinking more fuel is on the way, which allows the body to more work, basically overriding the governor upstairs trying to get us slow down and rest.
I should note, for posterity and in the interests of being scientifically consistent, that during the pandemic I made a concerted effort to eject potentially virus-riddled effluent much less often and certain never within the view of innocent passersby. I’m not a monster.
This week’s TCI Friday puts it on the line: Are you a spitter? What about snot rockets? Or are these habits just too gross and possibly part of the reason the non-cycling world takes such a dim view of those of us who would dare to ride a bike?
Look, we know you love TCI, but if you REALLY cared, you’d buy a t-shirt AND wear it, because that’s how humans demonstrate love in 2022 or whatever year this is.