Two extremely long months ago I was laid up in pain from undergoing surgery for an inguinal hernia. My crotch has forever been altered because of this procedure. The pain from it was comparable only to the pain of missing the last call for alcohol, having to admit I was wrong to my sometimes snotty teen-aged daughter and being woefully inactive. One major thing I learned about myself during this period was that I really liked donuts. I enjoyed them so much that I had to go with the club cut jersey to avoid unnecessary spillage this morning. With not having ridden in months and the pounds gained thereof, I knew that I was going to be asking a lot of my Lycra.
Today I decided to leave my depression behind. I don’t think you can ever totally get rid of it once you have it, but in time you can learn to control it and even use it as a motivational tool. I dropped out of college, but did manage to earn a C in Remedial Psychology 001.
All good rides be them of the club, training, racing or just plain chilling variety, always start the night before. I began rummaging through my assortment of Lycra possibilities. It had been so long, that I sat back and looked at what I actually planned to go out in public in and gave pause. Skin tight pants, a giant bowl on my head and glasses with lens that rivaled those of senior citizens with light-sensitive eyes. If I had any plans on seeking glory this year, I was going to have to let appearances go. Next up was retrieving the tools of the trade that I ride with. I guess during one of my “pity parties” I took everything out from where they belonged and hid them, so to help ring in Christs rising I had my own little “egg hunt”.
I globbed on my chamois cream just like old times. That felt familiar. I looked at at my excessively hairy legs and shook my head. The plus of having overgrowth is that the definition-less legs are now hidden. I looked at the new shape of my legs and instead of resembling pistons, they resembled pint glasses, which I guess is fitting in a way. I’d ask the neighbors kids or even mine to come help me de-weed, but I don’t need the law getting the wrong idea about my request, so soon I’ll have to break out the gas powered weed whacker and get to shearing.
To celebrate the day, I uncorked a pint of 312 ale. It’s not bad, it’s not great, it just is (worst marketing campaign ever). Chugging it down quickly, some dribbled on my jersey. It was all good. I made the error of not checking my bike that had been sitting for 2 months. Tires saggy and the chain a little grimy and rusty. I greased her up and mounted. That’s just how I do. I doubled up on my shorts expecting soreness in the rear from not having had any saddle time and wasn’t disappointed. Having fitness and strength are just components to having a successful experience on the bike. Besides being mentally prepared for your challenge you also need a rear that accustomed to bearing your weight. My sit bones are officially off vacation, though it’ll take awhile to get them feeling good enough to take on hours in the saddle again.
I pulled up to my local convenience store for coffee. I usually add some ridiculous sweet or calorie packed sandwich with it. Not today. My bodies had it and I can dig it. I walk up to the register and I get self conscious about the get-up I’m in. 20 years of being comfortable looking ridiculous and 2 months wiped that away. I looked like some kid dressed up like a superhero he created. I made for the door without making eye contact with anyone else in the store. Life was much easier as Clark Kent. This to shall pass.
I rode upright for awhile trying to get my legs back. I was really happy to see that fitness hadn’t dipped too much. I got into the drops with no intent on pushing it. Riding felt amazing. Probably the last time I felt that riding was amazing, was the first time my dad pushed me down a hill in Colorado Springs and I wobbled swerved and then it just clicked. I’ve been a convert ever since.
My powers completely shot. I’m only using 3 of my 6 cylinders. I want to ease back into this riding thing, so not to blow the rest of 2013. This puts me at a disadvantage in traffic. I use torque more than I do my brakes when riding in close quarters. It keeps me balanced and flowing with traffic, thus keeping me safer. Fighters change techniques to counter their opponents and I did the same. Spin a high cadence, ride closer to traffic, forcing them over a tad and laying off running any lights. I was 15-20 min off my usual pace, but today it didn’t matter, because I felt a dormant piece of me wake up again.
Riding home was just as fun until it wasn’t. I stupidly forgot to get a little something to throw in the tank before setting off. 7 miles in, I bonked. I realized it when I started doing switchbacks on the flats with a tailwind. I pulled up to a light that was yellow and as all lights do, turned to red. I thought to myself that the town must have reset the timer on the light because the change seemed rather fast, until it hit me that I was just that slow. Strangely, even bonking felt good today. I passed by two McDonald’s and started jonesin for a large fry. I started humming Janes Addiction’s “Jane Say’s”. I wanted trans fat bad. I passed that trial and kept it moving.
I walk into the house and go to hug my eldest son who says to me that I stink and I say back, “yeah, isn’t that great?!”