Archive for November, 2008

Things Loved, Lost, and Learned

So, I realized that I still have yet to post a follow up on the MS 150 bike ride.  I started this post probably the week after the ride, but have yet to finish it.  So, in order to clean out my draft que, I decided to post it now in all of its unfinished glory.

 

 

 

I have recently discovered a wonderful sport full of… Well, there are few adjectives that can adequately describe it, so I will just leave it at that it is full of “things.”  Good things, bad things, and things that I really have no idea where they would fit in the good-bad spectrum — Maybe somewhere around shar truce or puce.  This wonderful activity is none other than the previously mentioned thing called “cycling.”

I participated in a very long, very hot bicycle ride this past Saturday.  It was for the great cause of raising money for the MS Society.  Why I didn’t just raise money and be done with it, or why other people choose to pay to go through such things, I may never fully understand, but I suppose there are many things that I could ramble about about this 60-mile ride.

Things Learned

1.  Biker shorts are a very mystical item of clothing.  In order to ride a bike, I realized that it actually is much easier to ride while wearing simply biker shorts.  I was feeling rather self-conscious and apprehensive when I first bought them, and chose to wear shorts over them (the better biking shorts have padding so as to increase comfort and decrease saddle-soreness, which will be discussed at length in a later paragraph) during training previous to the race.  Upon my arrival at the starting line, though, I realized that biker shorts are a very natural part of the sport and really are nothing to be ashamed of.  Although, I must admit, I was very, very, VERY jealous of how good some people looked in their skin-tight little black (or blue, or red, or pink and blue checkered) spandex padded shorts.  In short, amongst non-bikers, they are a rather embarrassing item of clothing, but amongst peers… Walk proud in your spandex and jerseys!  You’re a cyclist!

2.  Even if you think you put on enough sunscreen, you didn’t.  I now have some very strange sunburns in some very strange shapes.  And mainly on my right side.  I now have this bright red half-elipse (cut in half from the sleeves on my way-awesome jersey) on my right arm which makes it very difficult to dress and sleeping on my right side is well… a slight form of torture.  And my mother has taken advantage of the easly target for  persuasive pain, slapping it when she felt I was being silly.  And I didn’t get an apology — at least, a sincere one.  =_= </glare>  I could have sworn I applied enough sunscreen.  Which was pretty painful, considering I had just shaved my legs prior to the event.  Sunscreen + freshly shaven legs = burning sensation.  But alas… I have my bizarre tanlines to show for my lack of discretion in my sunscreen application.  Oh well.  Everybody loves a… Cyclists… Tan. =/

3.  It IS possible to fall asleep while riding a bike. Especially in Idaho.  Idaho has some very long, very boring stretches of road.  I did almost fall asleep on my bike.

4.  Don’t believe the nice policeman on the motorcycle when he tells you there’s only one more hill left.  There will always be countless more hills for cyclists than there will be for the guys on the motorcycles.

5.  What it feels like to be the president.  Since me and my dad were last.  Dead last.  By about ten minutes or so… We had a SAG vehicle escort to the finish line to block traffic for us!  It was great.  Slightly humiliating, but pretty cool nonetheless.

6.  Roadkill is a lot more awesome close up.  ’nuff said.

Things Lost

1.  My ability to sit on a bike seat.  No matter how much padding your cheap bike shorts have, it will never be enough for sixty or so miles of riding on a bike seat.  Never.  Ever.  It is now Wednesday, and I think I am almost healed enough to be able to sit on the bike seat again.  Maybe.

2.  My father’s dignity in relation to the popular game of twenty questions. In order to keep me awake during those long stretches of boring road, me and my dad decided to play a game of twenty questions (which kind of turned into a game of “I’m thinking of something red”).  Anyway, I’m sorry dad, but we both agreed that you lack creativity in the area of thinking of things that will stump me.  Poor old dad thought he was so smart to be thinking of a watermellon, when in fact, it took me only five questions to stumble upon the answer.  He began by saying “I’m thinking of something green” as we were walking our bikes up a hill.  He thought I would be caught up in associating watermellons only with the color red.  So much for that idea.

3.  My stash of pain medications.  It was used up by my dad when he decided to blow out a tire and forget his feet were caged in and fell right over, bruising his ribs.  I also had my fair share of medication for my shoulders and neck.  You try to sit with your hands glued to bike handlebars at a fixed width and your head craned forward for ten hours, let’s see how YOUR head and neck feels!  It was really great that each rest stop was handing out ibuprofen like candy, too.  I found that rather helpful, as well.

Things Loved

1.  My bike!

2. My dad for sticking with me throught the entire thing, even though we came in DEAD LAST.  🙂

 

 

So, there you have it. 🙂  I’m very excited to do it again next year.

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America– the new Europe?

So, in the recent weeks, me and few friends have begun to wonder why America keeps trying to imitate Europe.  Nuclear plants, socialism, etc.  I think I have the answer.

It’s the chocolate.

Anyone I have ever asked has said that European chocolate is far superior to anything created in America.  So, why WOULDN’T we want to do everything we can to be like them in order to be able to create wondrous chocolate equal in greatness to that created in Europe?  I’m SURE this would entirely eliminate those awfully big costs of importing their chocolate, and WOW I’m sure it would be SO much better if it didn’t have to travel accross that big ocean!

So yep.  It’s the chocolate.

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