So most, if not all of you know, that I have been dieting and working out regularly. I have lost a few bills but not as much as I would like, but what can I say, it’s a process. One of my workouts is cycling. Yep, that’s right, lycra, clip in shoes, helmet, cool glasses, the works. I don’t really have a good colorful cycling jersey, but I’m not sweating it, the lycra is enough for now. By the way, if you ride regularly you know that you HAVE to wear the lycra, especially the ones with the pads in the important area. If not, major chafing, so the look is worth the sacrifice. Maybe not to the ones doing the looking, but definitely worth it for those of us being looked at.
Not sure why I ride, I guess I like doing it, which is kinda weird, because I got hit by a car while riding almost 3 years ago. And that was not the first time either. When I was 13 I got crunched too. Anyway one of the guys I am riding with is a little squirt. By the way for those of you that haven’t seen me in a while, or don’t know me…yet, I’m 6’4″ and weigh in the 300 neighborhood, though the neighborhood is getting a lot smaller since I started eating a lot less, but that’s another story and I touched on it in another blog so feel free to go back in the archives and re read. Enjoy!, if you know what I mean (and you will if you read the blog). By the way, 6’4″, 300lbs in lycra, not pretty, but I make it work and pull it off quite well if I do say so myself.
Where was I? Oh yeah, the little squirt I ride with who weighs about 165 and is trying to get off that last 5. We’ll call him Mandres. Let me start by saying Mandres is a really cool guy, one of the best spin class teachers at the YMCA. and nice, because he puts up with me, but for my purposes here, not so much, because it makes it more interesting. I do really well riding on the flats, but for those in the know about Greenville, SC there are not really a whole lot of flats around here. I also do really well going downhill. I mean really well. I’m talking rocket sled on greased rails well. It has it’s benefits. People will line up and wait for me to get to the top of a hill just so they can follow me down. I like to tell people I am not big, I am just aerodynamically challenged. When I ride downhill it’s probably the only time people like to be behind me when I am breaking wind. I’ve known groups to rearrange their rides just so they can show up at the top of the Saluda watershed grade and follow me down. And for those in the know about Greenville, there are a lot of downhills around here. It’s interesting, there are just as many downhills as there are uphills. Go figure.
However, going up hill is a whole other bag of grits. I’ll just be cooking along real nice and then we hit the uphills. If it weren’t for the other side of the uphills I wouldn’t need brakes. They might as well be walls. The reason for the difficulty is the weight. It might not seem like a lot, but understand this, a 50 inch flat screen TV weighs about 75 pounds. Imagine if you will, Mandres, who weighs 160, and Mark, that’s me, weighing about 300. That’s the equivalent of me carrying around not one, but two 50 inch flat screen TV’s on my back that he does not have.
So can anyone guess what my reaction was to hearing him tell others today at the Y that the 45 mile ride we went on last Thursday, up around highway 11 only had a few “hills” in it? Highway 11 is a scenic mountain road in the northern part of Greenville County and follows the foothills of the Blue Ridge mountains. It’s not a flat place. This little raisin, with arms and legs, was just dancing away on his pedals going up these “hills”, and even managed to take a phone call or two from his daughter’s teacher!! Meanwhile I’m still at the bottom of these “hills” just trying to put one pedal in front of the other and make it to the top while I’m still breathing. That’s not the worst of it. HE ALSO WANTS TO TALK TO ME WHILE WE ARE GOING UP THESE “hills”!!! Which is actually not so bad since it takes my mind off the suffering. I just don’t do so well holding up my end of the conversation. It’s kind of hard to hold up your end when you can only get out one syllable per breath or two.
Long story short, I make it home okay. Major cramps, all while drinking 6 litres of water on the ride, but I got him back though. On one of his phone calls, he had to stop on the middle of one of these “hills” and he forgot to change into an easier gear, so that he could restart. He started pedaling and since he was going up one of these “small hills” that made me look like I was having an asthma attack, he didn’t have any momentum, the gear was too hard and he just fell over. Not a crash, just fell over. Still clipped in and the bike on top of him, and boy was he hacked off. I laughed. But I had to get to the top of the “hill” and catch my breath before I did. Unfortunately he had already passed me, while he was talking on the phone and trying to carry on a conversation with me, so he couldn’t hear me laugh at him so my revenge was not as sweet.