This might seem hard to believe, but I have a long list of people I would like to slap.

Nothing really too hard. Just something to say, “Hey, knock that crap off.” 

Never have I acted on such an impulse, but the list grows longer every day.

The list includes Ted Cruz, most Yankees fans, all Packers fans, and those ignorant folks who got up early just to take Zooey Zephyr’s seat in the hallway of the Montana State Capitol. 

It includes commissioners Rob Manfred and Roger Goodell, anyone driving around with a cult flag for his political candidate, and other drivers on Reserve Street.

It includes people who play traffic cop instead of following the simple rules of a four-way stop, close talkers, and people who yell “call it both ways” at sports officials.

The list includes people who pass on the right, drivers who don’t use cruise control on the interstate, and Ted Cruz. 

The top of the list, though, are the people who make instruction videos on YouTube. 

Well, not all of them. Only like 99.3 percent of them. 

If you have ever turned to YouTube to help with your project, you know what I mean. These “experts” always skip or fast forward through the hard parts. 


Those hard parts are the reason we are searching YouTube in the first place. As far as the viewer can tell, these “experts” hired someone else to do the dirty work off camera.

I saw that so many times last year when I had to remodel my bathroom. 

Over and over, I watched YouTube videos to try to learn what I was supposed to do. 

These hands were meant to navigate a keyboard, not tools. Plus, when you have fun guys like Ralph Perusich and Chuck Hazlett in your shop class, like I did at Butte High, you don’t learn a lot.

So, I had to turn to YouTube to figure out what to do. 

Every video is either mislabeled or they cut out the tough parts. 

So, I watched every Lockmer Plumbing YouTube commercial 7,000 times, but I never found a video that worked through the process I needed to take. 

If it wasn’t for my text messages with Troy Lockmer or my conversations with the guys at the S.J. Perry Co., I would still be peeing outside. 

Eventually, the project was finished, but no thanks to YouTube, which only wasted my time. 

My latest stab at YouTube came because my mountain bike and NordicTrack bike broke at the same time. 

Dealing with the people of NordicTrack made the problem much worse than it had to be. 

I got a bike with a television monitor back in November. I got a NordicTrack instead of a Peloton because the NordicTrack bike automatically adjusts the tension and incline when going up and down hills. 

From the first ride, I absolutely loved the bike, and I rode it all winter.

I rode through trails in British Columbia. I climbed mountains in Norway. I took on the streets and trails of Chile. It is such a great workout, and I never had to be outside in the wind.

I could ride as fast as I wanted to without worrying about falling off, too. That is a big deal for me since I’m still not mentally over my wreck of July 2021.

According to my iFIT account, I rode it 116 times from Nov. 17 through April 10. 

On April 11, though, the touch-screen monitor wouldn’t turn on, turning the bike into a very expensive coat rack. 

I had to call NordicTrack and talk to one of their technicians from another country. 

You ever try to have a conversation with your neighbor’s dog? Well, that is pretty much what it was like dealing with this guy.

I told him my bike wasn’t working, and he kept talking about my treadmill. I don’t have a treadmill.

He insisted on sending me a replacement “lower wire.” And he wanted me to replace it because it was really easy. All I had to do was watch a YouTube video. 

But the bike is under warranty, so I want a technician. Plus, I knew his logic was flawed when he told me he knew it was the wire because the monitor had power. 

That is 180 degrees different from what I was thinking. If there is power to the monitor, the wire is doing its job.

So, I got the wire in the mail and watched the YouTube video, which, of course, skipped the hard parts. 

To make a long story a little shorter, eventually I yelled enough to get NordicTrack to send a real technician to fix my bike. This guy covers the small area of all of Montana and Wyoming, so it takes a while to get him to your house.

Within seconds of walking through the front door, this technician told me the monitor was bad and that the NordicTrack guy on the phone was a moron. 

Those were two things I already suspected. 

So, when the parts come in, the guy will come back to our area and fix my bike. I figure I’ll go on my next NordicTrack ride sometime in October. 

I don’t know if Peloton is any better, but I thought it was important to share that story before you buy a NordicTrack yourself.

My problem was magnified by the fact that my mountain bike was squeaking like crazy once enough snow melted to finally ride it outside. 

Each pedal stroke was line someone running her nails down a chalkboard. It felt like it was going to snap in two at any second. 

I watched a YouTube video to see how to take apart my lower bracket so I could clean it and grease it. 

After watching a ton of commercials and getting wrong video after wrong video, I finally found a video of a guy doing exactly what I wanted to do. 

So, I watched to see if I could do it or if I even had the tools to pull off the job. 

After watching and listening to the guy talk about cleaning and greasing the bracket, I figured I was about to learn. 

I slapped my laptop closed in frustration when the guy fast-forwarded through the actual taking apart the bracket, skipping to the simple task of cleaning and greasing.

The one part I wanted to learn was completely ignored.

It was like when Steve Martin let his audience in on his secret on how to have $1 million without paying taxes.

“First,” Martin said, “get a million dollars.”

Luckily, Sara Dennehy at the Derailed Bike Shop heard the frustration in my voice as I told her about my many bike problems.  

Understanding that my mental health depends on me being able to ride a bike, Sara took care of me quickly.

I dropped my bike off, and the next day I got it back running perfectly. My sanity was restored.

Restored to my normal abnormal levels of sanity, anyway.

I wore out my hips and lower back running because that used to keep me sane. Now, the exercise from biking has filled that huge hole. 

If I didn’t get at least one bike fixed, there would be no guarantee that I wouldn’t snap and start slapping all those people on my list. 

Thanks to Sara, though, I am a relatively sane man, and I will not be slapping anyone. 

Well, not unless I somehow get close enough to Ted Cruz.

— Bill Foley, who never wants to be in the same state as Ted Cruz, can be reached at Follow him at Listen to the ButteCast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you find your favorite podcasts.