The indignities of cycling
There are a few drawbacks to riding a bicycle 12-14 hours a week. Of course… right now, I’d gladly accept them all. None of them are quite as frustrating as being trapped by the dull ache accented by the occasional stabs of roaring pain in my right ankle.
When you spend a lot of that bike time riding with other people, it can get even worse. They tend to take pictures. Incriminating photos. But photos taken by friends don’t even begin to compare to the indignity of professional photos taken at rallies and races…
At first, I thought the idea of getting my picture taken during an event was pretty cool. But then I saw the results. I’m invariably making a horrible face, crusted in salty sweat and usually being passed by a dying turtle. That is not the way I wish to be preserved.
Aside from the photos, there’s the lycra. Yes… it is a godsend. Riding a bicycle has probably never been more comfortable. The fabric stretches and conforms so that it doesn’t get in the way. No seams under sensitive bits to chafe. No secondary rubbing as your leg moves past the saddle. But whoa be unto the children who are forced to see us when we stop at convenience stores for refills and discharges…
Heaven forbid, by the way, the temperature drops below 40 degrees. Then it’s time to put on the balaclava. For a good laugh, pull off your helmet, but leave the balaclava on before going in to buy a Snickers at the store… Or, better yet… make a quick trip into the bank! Other problems begin to surface when the temps drop, as well. The nose begins to trickle non-stop. Masters of the snot rocket have an advantage here… No one will ride within 50 feet of them… The chronic snuffler will likely be covered in fine strings of spider webs by the end of a ride as bits of nasal drip have seeped out and been thrown in the wind. The glove blower will have shiny stripes along his tights — be sure not to shake his hand after the ride…
And then there are the days where you push just a little too hard and a little too long.
“Sure,” you’ll say. “I’d be happy to join you for a coffee.” But you can’t manage to swing one leg off the couch. Standing up is completely out of the question.
Amanda shared a little tip the other week. Instead of just collapsing on the floor when you can’t walk any more, try a yoga pose like downward dog. It reduces the chances you’ll need to kill someone nearby when he asks, “Hey… are you OK?”
Hell, no… I’m not OK… I’m a cyclist.