Don't Be That Guy...
...who flogs himself in training when he can feel a bug coming on. Your immune system is like your legs—if it's tired, it's not going to spring into action.
» Instead, check yourself
If the sickness is above your neck, then going out for a ride is still in the cards. If it's below—stay in bed. Don't forget, the deeper a hole your immune system falls into, the longer you're out of action.
...who wears arm warmers with a sleeveless jersey. Do we have to explain this one to you?
» Instead, regulate your temperature wisely
This isn't the NBA. If it's cool enough to wear arm warmers, it's cool enough to wear a regular, short-sleeve jersey. Likewise, if it's warm enough to wear a sleeveless jersey, it's warm enough to skip the arm warmers.
...who races with untested foods or drinks. If you don't know how it's going to react with your body, the last place you want to try out a new food or drink is in a race. If it's going to add tension or anxiety, or affect your perspiration or respiration rates, you've got the recipe for a bigger problem. And it's not always the item itself; it may also be the quantity or the mixture. If you mix up an energy drink in a weaker or stronger solution than you're used to, you can find yourself with unexpected digestion issues or the dreaded bonk.
» Instead, try everything you plan on eating or drinking in a race ahead of time
For long, hard training rides, mix up drinks just like you would for a race. Take them from the same kind of container, drink them along with the same foods, and try to consume them with the same haste and under the same conditions in which you would in a race. Try eating combinations of foods as you'd want to in a race. Fueling yourself should be simple; don't complicate it by trying the latest energy food or miracle drink for the first time in an important race.
...who slams on his brakes in the middle of a group ride to pick up stuff on the road. Maybe you really do need that quarter, that bungee cord, or that screwdriver lying there, but you certainly don't need it so badly you have to endanger anybody else's life to have it right then. The same goes with dropping something out of your pocket; your energy bar or jacket will still be lying there, and your cell phone will not have hit the road any less hard if you wait a few seconds.
» Instead, let everyone pass before stopping to pick something up
In many cases, you could also leave that wrench or leaf rake for the next guy; do you really need another one? But if you must stop, let everyone pass, look around for traffic, and then go back and get it.
...who creeps up and drafts off someone riding on the road or bike path without saying anything. Yes, it is more efficient to draft off someone else. It is also costs less to drink if you put your drinks on someone else's tab. But it doesn't mean you should just creep in uninvited.
» Instead, just ask
"Hey, mind if I sit on?" Conversely, if you find yourself being drafted anonymously, do treat the offending party civilly. "You're welcome to sit on, but you should know most cyclists take offense at strangers jumping on the wheel without saying anything."
...who yells obscenities and throws his bike in front of kids and other fans after a flat or a mechanical.
» Instead, learn from an untimely mechanical how to be better prepared the next time
Whether it's better attention to bike maintenance, learning the right tire pressures or when to use sealant in your tubes, figure out what went wrong and why—and apply the lesson before the next race.
...who wipes his rear tire without hooking a thumb around the seatstay. We don't need another story about the inevitable consequences to tell the grandchildren. We already have several.
» Instead, hook that thumb
It may require some twisting of the elbow and shoulder, and it's especially hard with unistays...but it's better than winding up on the ground with your hand jammed between the seat tube and rear wheel.
...who tilts his saddle more than a few degrees up or down. Aside from looking dorky, it's really an indicator that something else is wrong with your bike fit.
» Instead, get a professional bike fitting if you are uncomfortable or find you have to do dorky things to your bike to make it comfortable.
...who forgets his shoes. All the technological benefits of that $5,000 bike won't do you much good if you can't clip into your pedals.
» Instead, establish a pre-race routine
Have a dedicated place for your shoes in your gear bag, and double check your bag every time before you leave.