Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Mating Ritual of the Male Homo Sapiens

I did the Murray lake trail yesterday in 34:28, exactly what I did it in the day before. If nothing else, I am consistent. Between rain and other commitments, I think this will be my last ride until the Brighton race on Sunday. Since I will have nothing to say for the rest of the week, I figure I am overdue for a long drawn out nonsensical entry...

Different trails have different atmospheres. Poto is a challenging course so the riders in the parking lot either take riding serious or are unsuspecting novices. Poto was the first place I ever rode so I can relate with the unsuspecting novices. The other extreme is Island Lake which is flat and non-technical. The parking lot is full of shinny new bicycles that still have reflectors and that plastic pie pan that goes between the cassette and the spokes. People here seem to spend more time hanging out in the parking lot than riding. It was interesting following Renee through the Island Lake parking lot as we went from the Yellow to the Blue loop. Randy and I stopped and talked at the end of the parking lot since Renee ran into some people she knew. It was cool getting to know Randy, he is a down to earth guy and we share a similar philosophy on bicycles and riding.

Watching the guys circle Renee on their bikes made me feel like a biologist observing animals in their natural habitat. I found myself narrating the scenario in my head like a documentary on PPS. The following account should be read in a quiet, English accent, with long thoughtful pauses between paragraphs, to get the full effect.

Today we are observing the strange mating ritual of the male Homo sapiens, the only extant member of the Homo genus of bipedal primates in the great ape family.

Humans have a highly developed brain capable of abstract reasoning and problem solving. This mental capability, combined with an erect body carriage, has made it perfectly adapted for bicycle riding.

Like most higher primates, humans are social by nature. However, humans are uniquely adept at utilizing systems of communication for self-expression, the exchange of ideas, and organization. Humans create complex social structures composed of many cooperation and competing groups. Nowhere is this more evident than it the group ride.

Male Homo sapiens riding together in a group serves no obvious purpose other than to attract members of the opposite sex in a delicate and complex mating ritual. Notice how the alpha males parades around his 29er. He is clad in a matching kit and slowly circles the unsuspecting female, like a tom trying to woo a hen.

When there are no females, the alpha male leads the charge to the single track. The presences today of a female cause the alpha male to stay back, subtly looking for the existence of a lower back tattoo on the female. None is detected. This does not discourage the alpha male.

The alpha male tries to match wits with the female. In this case the female clearly is capable of thinking on a much higher plane. This does not discourage the alpha male.

The female Homo sapiens typically have much more acute social skills than the male. Here we see the female allowing the other males to engage her in conversation which greatly aggravates, but does not discourage, the alpha male.

This particular female has an impressive power to weight ratio. If you listen carefully you can actually hear her wheels squishing the alpha male's ego. This only slightly discourages the alpha male.

The alpha male points out an obvious observation. Riveting. The female’s clear indifference does not discourage him.

By the end of the ride, males are circling the female in a frenzy like sharks around a baby seal. She quickly loads her bike and leaves. The alpha male wonders out loud if she will be back next week. I’m guessing not racer-boy, I am guessing not.

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