You Think That Other Guy Is the Fat Cyclist?
Look, there is something I want to make clear: my Buffalo Status is getting worse. To call myself a Clydesdale is an insult to the equines of the world. But then again, a Clydesdale may be bigger than a Buffalo. How am I supposed to know all this stuff? I know when I was a little kid the Budweiser Clydesdales came to town for some event or another and Mom took us to see them. Man. Those things were big. Ummm, Budweiser...
Where was I? Having finally sobered up long enough to sit down and bang out a Blog post, I found myself thinking about weight. Well, I suppose that we all think about our weight pretty much all the time. We are the Fattest Nation on Earth and the Most Obsessed With Thinness. Crazy, huh? While I have always ridden a bicycle for relaxation and exercise, it wasn't until this past year that I became obsessed with all things cycling and weight related. And a funny thing happened. I found out I could increase the length and speed of my rides only slightly and the weight would start to drop off one drip at a time.
Wow! That means I can eat all I want as long as I add a few miles here and there and bear down a little on the stretches that I used to ride slowly!
And Another Thing
The other thing that happens is that the Cycling Obsession results in a lot of time looking at other cyclists on the internet. It is easy to identify with these people. I mean, we all ride bicycles, don't we? The thing is, photographers and editors of cycling magazines tend to not photograph fat cyclists. Yeah. So I spend many hours imagining myself thin and strong and fast but then the Reality of the Saddle sets in once astride my steed and I'm huffing and puffing and arguing with the speedometer and blaming my Mom for taking me to see that Budweiser Parade when I was only five years old, imprinting me for life and giving me The Thirst That Is Never Quenched.
So I Ride
So I got my holiday-enlarged self out on the bike a couple days this week, riding my old familiar 24 mile course. I have seen the scenery on that ride so many times that looking around and goofing off is easy not to do. Instead I ride, I push and sometimes instead of downshifting to maintain my cadence I just pedal harder. I pedal a little harder until those big thigh muscles start complaining and then I back off and catch my breath and congratulate myself on my stupendous effort and then I do it again.
But Man Those Ribs Are Good!
I don't know if it will work or not but something's gotta give. In my twisted world-view I figured starting a Barbecue Sauce Empire and Rib Shack would meld gracefully with my efforts at Cycling Superiority. Since Uncle Bill and I have started having Sunday cook-outs every Sunday, guess what happened to my Sunday Centuries? Unless eating a hundred ribs and drinking a hundred beers counts as a Double Century, I'm not doing so hot.
Those cookouts are a lot of fun. They have a slight chance of translating into a late-life career change that may Save the Day. Those Century Rides were endurance events. They didn't start out as Centuries. Originally I was very unemployed and very poor and very depressed and I would ride my bicycle A Long Way and then realize I had to ride back, also a long way. Then I started measuring the miles and realized that if I did it on purpose I could brag about it online and then one day I realized that sooner or later some Young Gun would drop by to make me Prove It.
Whatever Happened To Billy the Kid?
I'm not too concerned about a shoot-out, however. I am Old and Tricky. Any Bonzai Buckaroo comes around here lookin' to Ride Long with the Old Man will first be stuffed so full of ribs and beer that his carbon fiber bike-cycle will collapse beneath him before the first mile. Besides, I am accustomed to being a Clyde and I'm good at it.
So How About This?
Today I rode 24 miles in an hour and twenty-five minutes. The wind was gentle and out of the east on a more-or less North-South ride. No hills. A really nice day. Is that a good time? I have no idea. I mean, yeah, I had a good time. But how fast is that in the real world? I know a group can generally go faster than a solo rider, due to drafting and humiliation and those slots in the helmets. But that is my fastest time on this familiar course and since I have some catching up to do, I thought it might be a personal challenge to see how many minutes I can whittle off that target time of 1:25. It might cause me to whittle a few pounds off my Buffalo Butt and get me back to that coveted Clydesdale Status.
What's In the Stand
Meanwhile, what about Bike Repair? Funny you should ask. I haven't been doing any. We all know what that means: something is due to break. Oh, I had a roadside flat last week. I fixed it in twelve minutes. I seem to be timing things these days. But I had it fixed and up and running in twelve minutes so now I guess I have another target time to try and reduce. Not that I want to work on that particular time.
Old Steel Rules
But, no, my Old Schwinn has only been mounted in the stand for purposes of worship. I haven't even squirted any lube on her for a while now. Man, I love that bike! What a machine! Thirty-plus years old and still Kickin' It. That Mavic wheel and Tiagra hub are still as sweet and smooth as they were when they were new. The chain is shiny and the SRAM cassette silent and crisp.
But now that I have jinxed myself by writing about over a thousand and a half maintenance free miles, I think I will wander over to the bench and grab some clean rags and some Armor-All and a spoke wrench and some chain oil, open a can of Clyde and do a little worshipful work.
Have You Hugged Your Bike Today?
Whispering Pines Trailer Park and Buffalo Preserve