Members of the mountain-biking collective MTBA were having lunch at the popular restaurant Molly’s when several bikers from the rival organization Road Flyers arrived, looking to refuel after a 60-mile morning ride. When it became apparent that the small restaurant could not accommodate both groups, dirty looks were thrown and within minutes they mocking each other’s gear.
“In my 30 years of police work, I’ve never seen anything like this,” said Lt. John Kaylan of the Austin Police Department. “There were hurt feelings everywhere, sweaty men in lycra clutching their helmets, their egos crushed like bottles of electrolyte-rich sports drinks.”
According to witnesses, a member of MTBA started the brawl when he loudly stated that roadies look ridiculous in their crotch-hugging outfits, to which a Road Flyers member responded that bib shorts — sometimes known as “grape smugglers” — are worn for comfort, and that mountain bikers are social rejects who are too stupid to understand that it’s not safe to wear baggy pants when cycling, and who can’t handle the danger of zipping down a highway at 40 miles per hour inches from an 18-wheeler blaring its horn.
The Texas Highway Patrol was warning pedestrians to stay away from downtown Austin, as hundreds of members from other bike groups were riding to the scene, impatient to weigh in on old disputes. One witness spotted at least 100 hipsters on banana bikes and unicycles en route from South Congress, while a UT professor reported seeing at least a dozen exchange students on electric bicycles zipping through campus on their way to join the brawl.
Zach McGuinness, founding member of MTBA, was heard explaining to an officer that his mountain biking group was provoked because “roadies like to wear matching kits they never earned.”
Before arresting McGuinness, the officer, an avid road cyclist himself, responded, “You just don’t like getting beaten to the top of climbs by skinny guys with shaved legs.”