Friday, April 3, 2009

Except When I Don’t

Remember when I said “I like to ride my bike?”

As in all things, there are exceptions.

Too Much Stuff. I often wish I was a runner, so I could just tie my shoes and step outside and poof! I’d be ready for my workout. Getting ready for a bike ride can occasionally feel like gearing up for the invasion of Normandy. Helmet? Shoes? Hydration pack? Snacks? Sunglasses? Padded Shorts? Gloves? Snacks? (I know I already said that – but I check for snacks several times before each ride) Phone? Identification? Bike computer? Camera? Snacks? You get the idea.

Riding in cold weather. I hate it. My fingers go numb. My feet freeze. My nose runs constantly. Double or triple the gear list above. My asthma kicks in and I cough like an 86-year-old chain smoker with emphysema. My glasses fog up. I get brain freeze, even with a wool cap under my helmet. Ugh.

Wind. Headwinds. Crosswinds. Demonic gusts that come upon you unexpectedly. Dirt in your eyes and your nose and your mouth. Tailwinds are a myth. You can ride east into a headwind for 4 hours, turn around to ride west, and – are you ready for this – still have a headwind. How is this possible? I do not know. But it is true. Always.

Walking in road bike shoes. Waddle waddle slip and fall. Try navigating in a tippy Port-A-Potty with those suckers on. Wearing high heels in an ice skating rink is safer.

Bonking. If you have ever had a vicious hangover – the kind where you are shaky and nauseous and you have a splitting headache and mostly you’d just like to lie down in a quiet place and die, you understand what it feels like to bonk. Now, imagine feeling that way when you still have 40 miles to ride, into a headwind, uphill on a rainy day. Double ugh.

Crashing. I end up with great stories, but it hurts. Sometimes, it hurts a lot. I don’t cry (there is no crying in cycling), but sometimes I really want to!

Tan lines. Need I say more?

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