The advice column for people in a relationship with an endurance athlete.
“Abby” is married to a professional triathlete and therefore lives with bonkers on a daily basis. If you want your burning questions answered, please email email@example.com.
My new boyfriend is heavily in to road biking – he is always training and cleaning his bike. I like him and see the relationship going somewhere so I got a bike too. However, he gets condescendingly angry when I break certain “rules” like wearing my glasses inside my helmet straps or leaving a gap between my arm warmers and jersey. The final straw was when he said I embarrassed him in front of his training friends by getting oil on my calf. I had no idea there were so many rules to learn. Are there Cliff Notes I can buy? What can I do? -Tired of Rules in Green Bay, WI.
Dear Tired of Rules,
Admittedly, even I had to clench my teeth when you let slip that you believe “oil” comes from a bike. You put oil in salads and car engines. I’ll let that one slide. (Pun intentional, naturally). So he’s a new boyfriend and he’s already imposing rules? You wait till you start wanting an open relationship. If he’s imposing this level of trivial bike etiquette so early on, bruises and flowers are probably right around the corner. If you had committed more heinous violations, like getting out the saddle while still on your ‘tops,’ unclipping when you’re still 100ft from actually stopping, or, god forbid, you wear a bandana, I may be able to understand. However, no one gets cited for violations 4.3.1 and 8.7.2 anymore, both were dropped from the pedaling pedant’s rulebook in 1985. You should not stand for this. I suggest devising some rules of your own. Withholding things from men is painfully easy so you might be spoilt for choice. Failing that, just apologize for sleeping with his dad. It’s a whopping lie (I hope) but it will linger like dogshit in his mean and controlling head.
Hilarious. Who are you? -Curious in Waynesville, OH.
Dear Curious in Waynesville,
I applaud your Descartian question. I mean, who are we? Really? Are you tired of being defined by the bike you ride (“Oh, you mean the gal who rides the red Dogma? Oh, yeah, I know her”), or do you have an existential crisis every time your partner pays $500 to enter a race even though there is patio furniture in your living room? Well if so, this little nook of LAVA magazine is for you. For us.
Disclaimer: This advice is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any relationship diseases. In fact, following this advice may, at best, exacerbate your problems or, at worst, introduce new issues you were previously unaware of. Crucially, the opinions expressed in this column do not necessarily represent those of LAVA magazine, it’s editors, publishers or it’s subsidiaries. In fact we all wash our hands of this silly nonsense. Well, except Alice in Accounts, but she’s already two stops south of nuts.