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that's gross, guys

I've mostly made my peace with the other class of cyclists with whom I share the bike path, the ones on bicycles that cost ten to thirty times as much as mine who ride not for transportation but for exercise or, as I understand they put it, training. They're out there because they like riding, and more power to them for it; even I manage to ride for fun on occasion. Sure, I disagree with their fashion choices but I'm sure they think my fleece socks pulled up over "nice" work trousers are just as ridiculous. And some of them shout "clear" at intersections when there are no cars coming, which is very considerate of them. But I'm not a fan of the spitting.

Even nose-blowing I can understand. Some of us carry handkerchiefs (I confess I often multi-purpose with my grease rag) but those cycling jerseys have limited pocket space. Since I like tissues even less than bodily fluids on the ground, I can grudgingly admit that the good old-fashioned snot rocket has its uses. But not spitting.

All of us, I believe, have functioning throats and manage to swallow our saliva for most of the hours of the day. Why should it be any different just because there's a bicycle involved? This afternoon I was passed by a gentlemen who, before he passed out of my sight, spit twice; I estimate I had him in view for about a mile, so assuming a thirty-mile ride (that seems about right if you take the trouble to put on all that gear, don't you think?) and a tablespoon of expectorate per expulsion, that means he deposited a total of three and three-quarter cups of spit on the ground over the course of his ride!

Oh, it's because he was working so hard? Do they spit in spin class? They do not. So please, gentlemen (and ladies!)... do us a favor and save it for the baseball diamond.

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