5 Reasons Why Cycling is for Crazy People

DSC_0117I used to work with a guy who was probably the healthiest man on the planet. Needless to say, I hated him instantly. We shared an office, were about the same age, and for the most part, had the same job. But it didn’t take long for our co-workers to realize that one of us was He-Man, the other was a slug. Here was the main reason why he was in such better shape:

  • Me: I lived about 4 miles away from our office, and drove to work every day.
  • Him: He lived half way to the moon, and only biked to work. No joke, one time the roads iced over and while I was debating the safety of driving my car, he skated all the way to work on his bike. What kind of lunatic rides 20 miles on ice?!

His biking to work made all the difference. While I looked like a zombie as I stumbled out of my car every morning, this spring chicken had already done more exercise before breakfast than I had in weeks.

I know I said I hated him, but after working in close proximity for about a year, I got over my fitness envy and we became great pals. Then, he finally popped the question. “Hey man, have you ever thought about buying a road bike? If you had a bike, we could ride after work.” My first instinct was to slap him in the face for even suggesting I could keep up with him. But after some prodding, I finally agreed to purchase one. Who knows? Maybe this purchase would turn me into He-Man Jr.

Since I hadn’t ridden anything since my days as a Huffy gangster, the smart thing to do would have been to test a few bikes, get a feel for what riding a road bike actually felt like (when I say road bike, I’m talking Tour de France style bikes), and landed on one that fit my gangly body type. Let’s make one thing clear, taking the smart road is not in my DNA. Instead, I found the meanest looking bike I could (online), did zero research, and bought that sucker sight unseen! No test rides, no gear, just the blind intuition from an idiot looking for speed. Here’s what I bought. Gorgeous, isn’t she?

RED

After she arrived, and I spent my entire net worth outfitting it with all the necessary gear, I realized I didn’t know the first thing about cycling. My first ride was an absolute train wreck, but I did learn why hard core cyclists should all be classified as clinically insane. I documented what I learned in the early going and made:

The Top 5 Reasons Why Cyclists are Crazy People.

  1. Instead of buying a comfortable seat, cyclists buy spandex with strategically placed padding. Seriously, you’d be better off sitting on a rail road spike for 40 miles. And if you think this “magical” padding does anything to ease the blow, you’re out of your mind.
  2. They clip their feet to their pedals. My first stop light experience inevitably led to a complete stop, panic when I realized I couldn’t clip out, and a slow fall into the intersection. Clipping in was easy, clipping out was a skill I neglected to learn until I was on the ground stopping traffic. While I’d like to think people were concerned for my well-being, I’m 99% sure that if I were a motorist and watched some guy slowly topple over because he couldn’t free his feet, I would have mocked him furiously. 
  3. My first hill...at least this is how I remember it

    My first hill…at least this is how I remember it

    They “power up” hills. My first real hill came when I rode with my cycling pal. When we reached this hill (which by the way looked like Kilimanjaro), he hopped “out of the saddle” and yelled, “Come on, man. We’ll power up this beast then have a nice coast down!” Are you kidding me?! If I had the energy to catch him, I would have punched him squarely in the spandex. I didn’t catch him, I just cursed at him the entire climb.

  4. The tires are razor-thin. Clearly, cyclists believe that riding on long, winding roads with waves of fast-moving traffic in both directions doesn’t provide nearly enough danger. So they decide to do so on tires thinner than my pinky. Why not?!
  5. Did I mention the spandex? I’ll admit that spandex shorts do make the riding experience much more comfortable. But it’s my firm belief that if your sport requires spandex to make it bearable, you probably need to reevaluate your decision to take part.

I’m still a pretty horrible cyclist, but I kept my bike, and I still ride today. I’m actually taking part in the Blackberry bRamble this weekend. I enjoy riding now, but I still think anyone who rides for long distances is completely nuts. That being said, it’s a great way to get fit, and as my uber healthy pal taught me, riding with a group is always way more fun.

Good luck to all the other crazies on the roads! And if you’re riding the bRamble this weekend in Eugene, I’ll see you out there. I’ll be the guy in really tight shorts.

 

Related Posts: To Yoga or Not To Yoga?; 10 Ridiculous but Awesome Fitness Fads

Leave a comment

5 Comments

  1. Megan Smith

     /  August 14, 2013

    ROFL, love it! Keep the stories coming

    Reply
  2. Sharon Bartmasser

     /  August 2, 2013

    Kenny, you still make me giggle… Happy riding…

    Reply
  3. (Laura here from LCHAY and Run Momma Run) Nice, Kenny! I’m FINALLY a bike to work commuter, but it took me a while to get over BDS (Bike Dork Syndrome) You can read about the symptoms here, but it looks like you’ve avoided the illness nicely. Yay for Spandex! http://runmommarunnews.wordpress.com/2010/06/03/%E2%80%A2-a-dork-on-two-wheels/

    Reply
  4. Wendy Welsh

     /  August 2, 2013

    Awesome! I loved reading this Kenny.

    Reply
  1. We Came, We Saw, We bRambled! | Million Ideas

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: