MG Thursday: Socially Unacceptable Bragging and How it Happened to Me

As many of you know, the DC Randonneurs ACP brevet series wrapped up with our beautiful 600K ride on Sunday, June 14.  Congratulations to all riders, brevet organizers, and volunteers.  DC Randonneurs ran an EXCELLENT series.

Even though there were congratulations all around (and even to me) at the end of this weekend’s 600K, for some reason I thought I needed more.  Perhaps if I had just bought the medal, the urge to brag would have been diminished.  I’ll never know because I’m too cheap.

In a previous post, I strongly advised readers to go into work the Monday after a brevet no matter what, as it is the only way to capitalize on socially acceptable bragging opportunities.  However, I did not follow my own advice, took Monday off in a fit of fatigue, and worked all Tuesday to make up for those lost socially acceptable bragging opportunities.  The results of my efforts are some antics that I share with you as a cautionary tale.  Don’t let this happen to you!

E-Mail: Because I was out of the office on Monday, I was unable to immediately respond to the e-mails people sent me.  I wanted people to know that their e-mails were very important to me, and that extraordinary circumstances created the delay in my response to them.

Therefore, my e-mail responses included the following: “Please excuse my delay in responding to your e-mail.  I was out of the office on Monday, as I participated in a two-day, 375-mile bike ride.  The answer to your question is blah blah blah.”

In some cases, the portion of the e-mail describing my delayed response was the bulk of the e-mail, e.g., “Please excuse my delay in responding to your e-mail.  I was out of the office on Monday, as I participated in a two-day, 375-mile bike ride.  The answer to your question is yes.”


Phone:  Sadly, I received no phone calls for the time I was out, but I decided that, for my next brevet, I will assure that my voice-mail message includes my reasons for being out of the office just in case I get lucky in the way of phone calls for the next brevet (out for a two-day 375-mile bike ride, message at beep, thanks, have a great day!).  Don’t want any opportunities to slip by!


The Gym: Socially unacceptable bragging opportunities abound since I became a regular at gym classes.  Working out on my own?  The tree falling in the forest that no one hears.  But Monday night kickboxing, Tuesday night spin, Wednesday yoga, etc., now that’s a different story.  Each of the class regulars is a tree, and when one of us falls, the rest of us are there to hear. Sometimes the sound can be deafening.

Take my Tuesday gym experiences.  I went during lunch AND after work in order to make sure that no bragging opportunities escaped me.

Experience 1. Lunchtime Conversation at the Gym:

“Mary, did you go to kickboxing on Monday?”

“No, Laura, I did not because my legs were still tired from my 375-mile bike ride over the weekend.”

“Really?  That’s amazing.”

Thanks, Laura!  I’m pretty excited about it.”


Experience 2. Announcement of Accomplishment in Spin Class

Later that day in spin class, my instructor recognized me to the group.  “And in the room tonight, we have Mary, who just completed a 375-mile bike ride this weekend!  Each of us has a journey, but for some of us, it’s longer than others.”

“Thanks, Cynthia!”

Applause all around. “Wow, that’s amazing!”

“Thank you, thank you!”

Now, because I consider Cynthia and I to be friends and we regularly apprise each other of our riding and other outdoor activities, I believe this exchange falls slightly withIN the lines of socially acceptable bragging.  But I leave it to you, readers, to be the ultimate judge.


Next month I start a new job within my organization.  Fellow randonneur Maile Neel suggested to me that perhaps my impetus for seeking alternate work was because the novelty of my riding had worn off with my current colleagues (“You rode how far? Oh well, so what, you always ride far, so CRAZY!”).  A new job allows me to impress a new cadre of coworkers, if only for one brevet season.

HA HA!  I may be desperate to brag, but I will only do so much.  While I do look forward to next year and the excitement of sharing my weekend tales with whomever will listen, everyone should rest assured that my new job is in no way related to seeking out a new audience for bragging!


Since Tuesday’s antics obviously evidence that I have strayed from what is socially acceptable bragging (who knew a randonneur could sink so low), I must reacquaint myself with the proper bragging environment and techniques.  No one likes a tree in the forest falling right on top of them.  BAM!

Oh, and please check out Felkerino’s post below about the 600K… it’s no MG Thursday, but it’s really good stuff!



5 thoughts on “MG Thursday: Socially Unacceptable Bragging and How it Happened to Me

  1. Next week, will you tackle the thorny question about whether blogging about socially un/acceptable bragging is itself acceptable or just over the line? You did manage to work in that you did a 600k last weekend quite a number of times :) Seriously, having watched (vicariously, unfortunately), as you all went through each ride in the series this Spring, I don’t think you can brag enough. You ought to get a t-shirt or button done up each weekend that says: “I biked ___Km/miles this weekend. Ask me about it.”

    Nice posts and nice riding; congratulation!

  2. HA HA!!!!!! Eric, I will answer that not-so-thorny question here. Of course blogging about socially unacceptable bragging is SOCIALLY UNACCETPABLE!!!

    (You will also note that I did not mention “600K” a number of times, but rather “375 miles.” How many of us know what 600 kilometers really converts to in miles? I do the conversion for my audience. It relieves them of the burden of doing extra math in order to more fully focus on my cycling accomplishment.)

    Great thought on the t-shirts, by the way…

    Hope you all had a good double century yesterday!! Was thinking about you as I looked out onto Hains Point in the early evening…

  3. Thank you for maintaining this insightful and entertaining blog. This particular entry gives me a window into the regimen (spin class, kick boxing) necessary to being a happy and successful randonneur.

    I wonder if you would please comment on the importance of spin class to your conditioning. Staring straight ahead in a spin class is about the least enjoyable cycling I can imagine, especially in contrast to randonneuring.


  4. Nicholas, I’m not sure my regimen is geared toward successful randonneuring, but it is fun for me and brings variety to my life. Stay tuned, I am working on something regarding spin and hope to put it out in the next few weeks.

    Cycle Jerk, I deem it socially acceptable to include your link, especially since it is a Surly LHT and I just love that bike! I do not tour on it, but use it as my main commuter and grocery store shopping bike.

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