Spinning class was about to start. I was making my usual frenzied adjustments to the bike. Why can't they invent a "Remember Settings" button, so the seat and handlebars automatically ping and zip into place? It takes me at least ten minutes of wrestling and I never get it the same from one week to the next.
It's the same breed of panic as when you're at the supermarket checkout doing the juggle of debit card and shopping bags and purse and soup tins, trying to get your shit organised before the chick starts flinging the next person's groceries at you. I haaaate the thought of being left behind at Spinning, still frowning on the floor when everyone else has pedalled off to nowhere.
Finally I was satisfied with the seat height and was just about to climb aboard when a girl with a swishy ponytail appeared beside me.
"Ohhh…" she sighed, "You're using this bike?"
"Yes." I swished my hand to indicate my padded seat cover, my water bottle nestled in the cage; my custom handlebar configuration.
"Ohhh… really? That's my favourite bike. I always use that bike."
This is where any reasonable person would have said, "Ohhh… really? Well that's my favourite bike TOO and I got here first. So rack off."
But noooo. What did I say?
"Very sorry," with only minimal sarcasm. Then I removed my seat cover and water bottle and shuffled off obediently to another bike!
Why did I DO that?
What kind of spineless gimp am I?
Honestly, this happened a month ago and I am still kicking myself in that futile George Costanza kind of way.
Maybe I didn't want to make a fuss because there's only six people in the class, so starting a bike turf war would make the atmosphere awkward. Or maybe my inner high-school-student-with-inferiority-complex automatically surrendered to the whims of the ponytailed popular girl?
Either way I seethed throughout the class, even during the evil interval track, when the seething was near audible as it merged with sweat. It would have been something like: Sssssssszzzziiiffcaarrrrgh!
One thing you could hear was the squeaky wheels of my second-choice bike, the crappiest bike in the room, going EEE EEE EEE EEE in time with my furious cadence.