The Dental Conspiracy

Surprisingly enough, many among us are unaware that Sunday marked the 65th anniversary of the alien spacecraft crash at Roswell, New Mexico. This is true, of course, because the aliens among us, who secretly control the media, choose to make it so. In commemoration of this event, I feel compelled, as a public service to my fellow cyclists, to she’d the light of day upon another vast, seedy plot; the dental conspiracy.

What, you MIT ask, is the dental conspiracy? It is a plot so devious and well-concealed that no one but I have uncovered it’s existence. So, here, for the first time, is the insidious scheme revealed.

I know you may find this difficult to believe, but the dentists of the world (or at least of Hillsborough County, Florida) have secretly taken over the road commission, and are slowly destroying the dental structure of cyclists county wide. “What?” you ask. How can this be? Where is the proof of such an allegation? the proof, dear reader, is in the riding.

I’ve been riding roads in Tampa and Hillsborough County off and on for almost 4 months now, and pretty steadily for the past three weeks. And while on the surface it may appear that the road commissioners are a cyclist’s friends base don the number of bicycle routes along even the main streets, one need only ride a few of these bike lanes, especially in conditions of limited visibility, to find that they are dental destruction zones. I’ve flown through moderate turbulence, driven on Arkansas highways, and even done some amateur boxing, but never have my teeth been rattled inside my head as they are when riding these “bike friendly” roads in Tampa. The conditions are so pervasive that it cannot be coincidence… It must have been planned. And who better to plan a denture-jarring transportation network than those who would benefit the most; the dental professionals hiding openly among us.

These oral obstacle courses take many forms, and are hard to predict. The most troublesome form is the washboard section… those patches of bike lane with a rapidly repeating series of ridges that bounce your skull like a bobble head doll, daring you to maintain control while hunched over on the aerobars. Go ahead… Try. But wait, you protest, surely this can’t be intentional! Oh, yeah? Then why is the road next to the washboard bike lane as smooths glass? Because cars have shock absorbers, and bikes don’t. So there.

More easily detected but as difficult to avoid is the “glob of junk” hazard. I’ve encountered everything from clumps of leftover asphalt (really, you had to dump that in the bike lane?) to hardened globs of paint discarded after restriping the road. Hit one of those babies when the road is wet and you’re watching Gilligan’s Island reruns from your hospital bed for the next 6 months (assuming you have insurance). Either of these can jar your fillings loose in a heartbeat… No coincidence there, I’m sure.

Now hold on, you protest, we have two dentists in our cycling club. They are get guys. Even the FBI has informants in the mob… Don’t mistake these moles for cycling pals… They are simply scouting out the enemy. Ever notice how they seem to recommend the routes that turn out to be the roughest? Coincidence? I think not. I assure you that their interest is neither fitness or friendship, but purely financial.

So don’t be fooled, my cycling friends. It may seem far fetched to think that such highly trained professionals would stoop to such lows just to drum up dental repair business, but the proof is irrefutable. We must drive them out from among us before we have no teeth left, and all of our rims are bent. There’s not a moment to lose.

Next week, my exposé on the inner tube manufacturers who throw glass bottles in the bike lanes. You heard it here first.

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