People often spit the word ‘blogger’, to denote their distaste and distrust. The bloggers of our imagination are often dilettantes, second hand journalists, or fake news peddlers.
They’re giving bloggers a bad name.
But still, even with the ones you can trust, beware.
When you’re out for a bike ride with your mates do you ever have the feeling you’re being watched? Is someone taking rather too much delight in every mangled puncture repair or poor wardrobe choice? Do they carry a notebook in their jersey pocket and furtively jot things down?
This is research.
They are a blogger.
And you are the subject of their next published post.
Minor transgressions – a smear of chain grease on your calf, or turning up pre-ride with a dirty bike – you can usually get away with. They might get you a half-mention in a passing blog post but nothing more.
Within forty-eight hours your abject failure to be a cyclist could be splashed online for the entertainment of others.
Get it wrong repeatedly, and you might find yourself the subject of a whole category of blog posts. Such a sullying of your reputation is difficult to come back from.
There is a solution, of course.
If you’re tired of being used as mere fodder for your friend to draw hits to his website, you must fight fire with fire.
Remember: the blogger’s success rests on his words, but also his reputation.
He can only sling all this light-hearted mud in the direction of his fellow cyclists if he himself is as paragon of cycling virtue.
If he is eeking out comedy capital from your inability to fix a puncture in less than seven minutes, he’d damn well better be able to do it himself in three with a flourish, a flick of the wrist, and a witty anecdote or two.
Get yourself on social media, and tell the world the truth.
Regale the Twitter-sphere with tales of your friend the blogger and his phone calls home for collection mid-ride, his creaking bottom bracket, and that US Postal Service circa Lance Armstrong jersey that you KNOW he wears under his winter kit from time to time.
That’ll shut him up.
Disclaimer: any resemblance to actual individuals is purely coincidental