Hey everybody! I ran into the greatest blog today and thought I’d share two things. 1. The information in this blog because it is EXACTLY what I was looking for exactly a year ago, so maybe it’ll save you a buttload of time surfing the world wide web like I did. And 2. It made me think of a great time with my Dad, a long personal story I love. Both of which I’ll talk about below.
First, if you’re considering purchasing a bike, or if you’re like me and finally said mercy and dragged off to the dumpster your 20 year old Huffy intent on getting one you’ll actually ride, then this is the place to go. This one simple page has the best chart that gives all the pros and cons of different types of bikes and what the biking lingo means.
When you finally give up on that old bike with rusted chains that like to fall off track every quarter mile or so and nonexistent brakes, head on over to http://thecheekycyclist.com/ and get the quick low down on the options out there 🙂
Second, the Cheeky Cyclist made me think of a great time with my Dad. I honestly hate him about as often as I love him, but sometimes our identical personalities align for the good and we set together on some sort of goal and overcome all the crap I put him through or he puts me through. It’s weird, but it works for us.
In this particular instance he had been dealing with the winter blues and we decided to fend them off together by joining the local gym. I bought him some sweat pants (that looked absolutely ridiculous in the guy I’ve only ever seen in jeans), we dug out his old dusty tennis shoes, I bought some new ones, and we hit the gym together.
The first couple of weeks were fun exploring new equipment and testing our endurances on different machines, always trying to one up the other. We sometimes talked in the car to and from the gym, which I kind of cherished because I had his full attention – I didn’t have to share it with whatever engine was on his property at the time. And we both could physically feel the benefits of physical exercise in the middle of a blistery cold and super long winter.
But then the repetition grew boring.
That is, until the gym had this little competition. We were encouraged to sign up with a partner, give ourselves a team name, and log the most miles on the machines within a certain time frame – I think it was a month or so.
We dutifully showed up everyday. I preferred the treadmill, where the miles were slow, and he preferred the stationary bike because he could see the progress at a much faster pace. I smiled every time I signed myself in under our team name because it was kind of cheeky, some sort of personal joke between my Dad and I that I can’t recall at the moment, but I do remember the bond we had calling ourselves our team name at family functions and such.
The weeks went on and the secretly competitive claws started coming out. Then, one day, my Dad was hitting the gym like nobody’s business. I mean, sweat pouring from his hair line down over his cheeks til I was afraid he was going to keel over with a full on heart attack or something. When I asked him what flipped his switch, he told me that the team we were tied with had seen him at church the night before and informed him that they had prayed over the competition, specifically that they win.
This lit a fire in my Dad. Never had he heard such a selfish prayer in all his life apparently (Thank God he hasn’t heard some of mine then…) Even though I don’t believe any prayer is truly selfish, they had offended my Dad in the arrogant way they postured that night in a place of worship, and by gosh and by golly I wasn’t going to let them get away with it.
The next day I decided to try the bikes simply to improve our mileage. There was only one stationary bike with the comfy seat for my plump cheeks, and I was sure to get to the gym ten minutes before the other team always showed up so I could bike in comfort.
For the last few days of the competition it was kind of fun. The fans from the treadmills in front of me would blow in my face, blowing my hair all over the place, and even though I definitely looked like Princess Fiona in her Shrek form, I imagined myself looking like a cross between an Olympic athlete and Cover Girl model, toned and fit yet refined and sophisticated. I imagined myself biking along the hills of San Fransisco, the streets of South Africa, and the beaches of my home town.
And, to be totally honest, when I got off the completely stationary bikes, I imagined myself to be as smug looking as the bicyclists at the beach.
The bicyclists at the beach you ask? Well, let me tell you about the bicyclists at the beach. One day my friends and I were playing beach volleyball (rec style) at the largest lake around. We are all pretty humble and not too show off-y, so we all had a gigantic laugh when this herd of real bicyclists came to the beach – not the kind that hopped on their home bikes to grab some ice cream in town, but the kind who wear nothing but spandex and helmets and march around like they are Greek gods or something.
Anywho, they got off their bikes and watched our game, like from the sidelines. We are all moms and not exactly in our finest hours of life, so to have any spectators at all was awkward, but to have extremely good looking dudes not very well hidden behind their spandex biking shorts stand at our sidelines and watch was more than we could take. Of course we took it maturely and giggled in every huddle, coming up with some poor taste jokes, and we all blushed like school girls, but that’s besides the point…
Eventually they bored of our game and smugly walked down to the water front. So that’s what I’m talking about when I say I got off the stationary bike and walked out of the gym – all smug like nobody can see my spandex diaper pants riding up and exposing my lady goods, letting everyone know how confident I was with my body and how good looking I was and possibly imagined myself as a Greek goddess which I clearly am not.
So, I put on quite a few miles and was getting pretty sore those last few days. The night before it was over I asked the gossipy check out girl who was in the lead (it was supposed to be confidential), to know exactly how much (or how less) effort I needed to clinch the victory in the final day. She said we were tied within a tenth of a mile – out of HUNDREDS – and they had to recount the records three times earlier that day to determine that number for sure.
Well, shitpissfuck. I wasn’t going to let smug church ladies outsmug my arrogant I just biked through the Sahara dessert and barely broke a sweat strut.
I woke early the final morning and was there when the gym opened, 4:55am prompt. I biked all morning til like ten, then I went in to work late (sick, clearly), and then I biked on my lunch hour and then I went back after work until the place shut down at 8:00 that night.
Boys and girls, ladies and gentlemen, if you can learn one thing from this endless story it is to NEVER go 0-60 on a bike. Ever. By day three you will hate yourself. Every muscle in your body will hate yourself. Every cell in your being will be on fire. Even your hair will probably hate itself. It’s that bad.
Never, ever, EVER, go from 0 miles on a bike to hundreds in a few days.
I got home that final night, and everything hurt. I won’t lie, I now know why they make those goshawful looking spandex diaper pants for the pros.
I tried to crawl in the bathtub, but every muscle cramped. Honest to goodness I couldn’t get out of the tub. I was held captive by a one foot wall of ceramic plastic or something with no ability to get out. My legs were so tense they wouldn’t move, but when I forced them to they went into all out cramp and I wished I was dead for a minute. Arms, just as bad. Stomach, for some reason even my stomach cramped every time I did more than take a simple breath. It was a weird form of torture, I had pressed my body further physically than it had ever gone before, and now I had nothing left to do but pray.
Yes. I prayed for my Dad and I to win. I thought about it later and thought that should have somehow jinxed our situation. Fighting tooth and nail over that small act in the first place led me to performing that exact small act of which I despised.
Goodness gracious I am a work in progress.
Well, long story short, we ended up winning by less than a mile. We received our fifty dollar gift card award for winning and proudly admired our names scrawled on the white board in the gym, announcing my Dad and I as the challenge winners.
I thought I would never forget that number, the hundreds of miles we biked, but I have. Maybe I am getting dementia early. Maybe I am getting old. Or maybe I have learned if I don’t write these little things down I’ll lose them. Either way, thanks for sticking with me on this journey.
God bless, and make it a great day!
Funny story, this is the photo I put for the “Featured Image.” The whole bicyclist, helmet to pedal, but the way this blog lays out it automatically cropped it to the spandex pants. Too funny to change back lol!