Racing in the 17-18s at Panoche, it was brought to my attention that the Europrowannabe (EPW) Flu has suddenly afflicted the vast majority of the junior peleton. I knew that EPW has always been present at local races, particularly with cocky adult males, but the situation on our hands with area juniors is clearly a dire one.
I took it upon myself to do some research and came across an entry about EPW in the Oxford Dictionary of Sports Science and Medicine. Please excuse me as I break international copyright laws for the greater public good.
Europrowannabe Flu, or EPW, is a highly contagious virus that makes its home in the bodies of amateur cyclists, Americans in particular. EPW mainly affects the brain in such a way that it can no longer distinguish between amateur and professional bicycle races. This causes its victims to act as if they were professional European racers. Not only does EPW make fools of those it targets, but it can also make entire pelotons so unpleasant that the image of cyclists in general is severely tarnished.
- Throwing litter and water bottles on the ground of typically scenic places.[/*:m]
- Unzipping jersey completely on average-temperature days often exhibiting a large necklace.[/*:m]
- Reading copious amounts of cycling-related literature and/or catalogs.[/*:m]
- Cursing and yelling at fellow racers.[/*:m]
- Replacing water bottles with a large CamelBak.[/*:m]
- Replacing all jerseys with quarter-zip equivalents.[/*:m]
- Ending VeloNews subscriptions.[/*:m]
- Making the afflicted feel bad when promoters can no longer obtain race permits.[/*:m]
- Force the writing of "I am not a pro. I am not a pro." on a chalkboard 200 times.[/*:m]
- Constant reminders such as "It's only a race!" and "Chill out!"[/*:m]
- Force the realization that hordes of devoted fans will not come to race courses to find disposed bottles, wrappers, and/or other memorabilia.[/*:m]
- A combination of electroshock and radiation therapy.[/*:m]
So, if you know someone or are someone with EPW, please seek help before it's too late. We cannot eradicate this disease without your help.[/]