Monday, January 16, 2012

It's NOT like riding a bike...

Let's talk about cycling, shall we?  One of my old failed attempts at blogging was with a blog entitled 'Tales of a Cycling Widow.'  After a couple of posts that no one was reading, I thought, Who really wants to listen to me bitch about my husband all the time?
So, I'm not going to do that.  All the time.  Only sometimes.  Like now.

The Hubs is totally obsessed with cycling.  But, since he doesn't like that word, let me try to find something else that fits... Here we go: preoccupied, possessed, consumed, fixated, infatuated, hung up... Those all work equally well.

He's eager to convert the uninitiated, too.  Bring up bikes, and he'll be helping you buy one before you know it.  To him, everyone should ride a bike.  If they don't love it, it's only because they don't know what they're missing yet.  

It would be his fondest joy if I were to become as enthusiastic about it as he is.  Alas, I am not, and not for lack of trying.  

That old saying, "It's like riding a bike," insinuates that riding a bike is simple and something that will come easily once you've learned how to do it.  Ha.  

First of all, the clothes are terrible.  Tight spandex should not be worn by the majority of the population.  Those of you that rock it, more power to you.  Those of you that have never tried feel so exposed and vulnerable that you might as well be walking around naked.  When you ride in spandex, it is with the conviction that every person that sees you is either cringing at your utter gall in donning spandex or applauding the bravery required to parade yourself around in public looking like that.  Oh, and by the way, you should have a nice pair of padded spandex shorts to protect your area from the pressure of the bike seat.  Also necessary is cream to lubricate your area so as to avoid soreness from friction as your parts rub against your shorts while riding.  

Then, you have to have the proper socks and footwear.  The footwear is necessary, of course, because you cannot have pedals; you must attach your feet to your bike via special little clips.  This helps you pedal more efficiently.  It also makes escape in the event of an emergency less likely, because you will not have time to get unclipped when you wreck; you are doomed to go down with the ship.  Less dangerous but more annoying is walking around in the special footwear.  They have metal cleats or clips or whatever, and you clack around feeling like a duck.  

You're not ready to go until you also have a helmet, gloves, and sunglasses.  Optional equipment includes a speedometer with or without a heart rate strap accessory that you wear across your chest.  Fill your water bottles, some with water, others with some sort of nutritional supplement for caloric intake while pedaling.  Air your tires, adjust your brakes, seat, handlebars, etc, as necessary, and you're ready to go.  

Getting ready to ride takes at least that much effort if you're leaving from the house.  If you're traveling somewhere to ride, you have to pack all the gear first, load the car with the gear and the bikes (and food and drinks, etc.) before you go.  This requires some sort of special rack attached to your car.  

Just thinking about it all makes me tired, and we haven't even gotten to the riding part yet.  

It hurts.  Even if you're just riding on the road, things get pretty traumatized in your nether regions.  It's bad enough with lady parts; I still can't fathom where the boys put... um, the boys, and how that works at all.  But, apparently it does.  Ouch.  Your shoulders get sore, your neck strains, your back hurts, your hands go numb...  I'm told most eventually just get used to all the misery until it passes.  It never really passed for me.  

Mountain bike riding adds new levels of torture.  There are hills and tree roots, stumps and tree branches.  I feel like one of those contestants on Wipe Out; I am ridiculously unable to conquer the obstacle course I've found myself on.  Mountain bikers generally have great coordination, but they also see crashing as an acceptable risk in their pursuit of an adrenaline rush.  Not me.  I'm not terribly coordinated, first of all.  Second, crashing is not an option for me.  Therefore, I go slow.  I hesitate when I should push through.  I jump off my bike and walk.  I imagine being on a bike trail with me is to him what taking a toddler to the mall is like for me; it seems to go smoothly at first, but it devolves into a painful comedy of errors before too long, and everyone is miserable.  

Still, he wants me to go.  He loves it when I ride.  It makes him happy.  The thing is, it doesn't make me happy.  

You know when your kids decide they hate one of your favorite foods, and you keep making them try it, thinking they'll come around?  For me, it's tomatoes.  I love tomatoes.  The kids both abhor them.  I keep hoping they'll change their minds, not fully understanding how they could loathe something that tastes so good.  It's a tomato, for God's sake.  It's good, I swear.  Just eat it.  One day you're going to like it.  Maybe they never will, though.  It disappoints me, because I tend to put tomatoes in almost everything.  

Maybe one day they'll eat tomatoes.  Maybe...maybe one day I'll actually figure out what there is to love about cycling...  

But I just don't get it.  


  1. I didn't get it either till I started riding inside in a class... nothing hurt...i was more than a little surprised... and yes, now i really like the class... but you won't find me on the road with those nuts!! LOL

  2. Yeah? I tried that once, too, and the stationary thing made it worse, for me. There was no scenery, and there was no incentive to keep going, lol. I could just get off whenever I wanted. At least there's a breeze on the road! What do you like about the class? Fill me in...

  3. don't forget the special bike socks that are an absolute MUST