My heart rate is off the charts. I have so much adrenaline pumping through my body I can feel my leg hairs twitching. Flight is hiding in the shadows of the back corner crying and clutching its security blanket because it's all Fight mechanism at this point. Breathe, Andrew.
I've tried reminding myself that you're probably this level of whingey whippet to everyone you think is beneath you. I've tried reminding myself that if I do anything but nod my head I'm just creating problems for other people. Now I'm focusing 95% of my brain on trying to remember what cold beer options are in the shop fridge while the 5% of my grey matter that drew the short straw listens to your tale incredulously.
I can see that the cage of the rear derailleur on your rental bike is SO BENT that the guide pulley and tension pulley are sitting some 6-cogs apart. No shit it doesn't stay in gear when you pedal. And 'bro' you bought the insurance so no one cares, it's not your problem, I'll fix it. But instead of just coping with the fact you did a proper 'That's Mountain Biking,‘ for some stupid reason or another, you're doing the it-was-like-that-when-I-picked-it-up (IWLTWIPIU).
I hate the IWLTWIPIU, it's at least 10,000x worse than the most poorly imagined JRA (Just. Riding. Along). I mean not only did Nice Guy test ride the bike last night but I also test rode it this morning as part of setting it up. And you, YOU, test-rode the bike in the parking lot before you left, including running it through the gears. You aren't getting a refund and you're lucky you aren't getting called out for your bullshit.
It's an hour after you left and I'm still processing the mix of offense and disbelief that may only be possible when you regularly experience the next new low of the customer service experience. That beer I had in the shop after evaporated (it's pretty warm in there right now) so it's time for a tunnel beer on the pedal home. 'Someone' should really stash some folding chairs nearby.
So, I was philosophizing, and the way I see it there are nine stages, processed internally, to laundering laughable lies without altercation.
1) What the f*ck?
2) No f*cking way!?
3) F*ck You!
4) F*ck Me...
5) F*ck This.
7) Ride Bicycles.
9) Laugh at the absurdity of the whole thing.
And you know what? There is a moral to this story. Own your shit. Please. There are absolutely zero people who have ridden mountain bikes for any amount of time that don't know that mountain biking happens. Mountain biking happens. Sometimes it happens five meters into the first trail you've ridden on your brand-new tires. Sometimes it happens to your fresh front rim 30-seconds after you drop in.
Mountain biking happens to all of us so let's bask in the honesty of the shared experience instead of being total ass-falcons.
All my promises that Tunnel Talk will not generally be angsty rants.