Fat Biker

Fat Biker: Numb Nards

Covid-19 Quarantine has sent many of us scurrying back to our bicycles.

Some for the first time since childhood. I see them on the bike paths, wearing a T-shirt and jeans shorts with no pads, gears squeaking from the spider webs they didn’t bother to clean, and weaving all over the road like drunks.

Glad they are out. Just remove the ear buds so you can hear us coming, and move the fuck over so we can pass without a crash.

Enter the trend follower: Julian, the Original Douchebag Millennial.

We did some riding together in 2014 -15. He borrowed my aluminum bike for a while.  Then he:

  • Bought a carbon road bike.
  • Sold the carbon bike. Bought a steel bike — steel was “comfy”.
  • Sold the steal bike. Bought a “fixie” — fix gears were for “real bikers”.
  • Sold the fixie. Bought a gravel bike — gravel was cool.
  • Stopped riding for two years.
  • Sold the gravel bike, too slow — back to getting a “fast road bike.”

I’m pretty damn sure he “lost money” on every transaction. I only rode with him once when he had the fixie.  Toe clips were smashing into the ground on every downhill and grinding us to a halt.  Fucking fixies.

Peppered me with questions and images of good bikes, text messages, Facebook messages, emails…  I sent him to Stoddard and Capera — bike experts.

Julian ignored them.  Bought a classic, customized Bianchi road bike from a “reported” bike mechanic.

“How the fuck are you going to get parts for that?” Scott asked. “They haven’t made those kinds of brakes in 10 years.”

“But don’t you think it’s cool, and the colors are pretty,” Julian responded.

BIANCHI_HERO

Say it with me now…. Douchebag.

More texts, messages and emails.  When we gonna ride, George, when we gonna ride.

He knows I’ve been riding almost every Wednesday night in Tucson for 4 years with Wolf.  But he was asking if I would leave the Bear (and new pandemic puppy Carol Baskins for a weekend just to ride with him in the day time). Pigment impairment and common sense kept that from happening.

“I gotta get a light,” he finally said.

Shows up on a Wednesday.  He invited Capera and Jesus.  Capera showed early.  Julian was early.  Like all “good Christians”, we were still waiting for Jesus to return.

We left the third-world racquet club and headed west.  Heavy covid traffic of walkers, joggers, dogs, kids, baby strollers and bat watchers.

Bats fill the undersides of the bridges at this time of year.  What an awesome odor.  I can only hope these Mexican bats are eating the Tucson bugs that keep flying in my mouth.

“I go about the same speed as these people walk,” Jeff said.  “It’s just safer.”

We clear the humans about 3 miles later. Stretch the legs, get a little out of breath.  Julian drops out of site.

I had asked Jeff and Julian to bring a rope.  I thought those two skinny fucks would have to tow me around town. Did they?

Fuck No.

The youngest and thinnest is the furthest behind. We wait.  He rolls up just as we turn northeast with a good breeze blowing us up a slight incline.

“I’m going to puke,” Julian said.  “I had a bunch of fettuccine and sausage.”  His heart rate won’t go up. His legs are about to cramp.

We are guessing he had extra cheese and extra sausage… We’ve all had bad days.  Probably too much sugar and protein right before a ride?

“What’s hypoglycemic?” he asked…  “I think I’m that.”

Jesus, we are not doctors.

“How much further,” Julian asked.

“20 miles,” I said.  “You were the one that wanted to loop around Oro Valley.  That’s a 35-mile ride.”

We decided to cut it short.  Turn for home at the next road.

“If my nards  go numb, does that mean the blood is getting cut off from my brain,” Julian said.

Jeff and I tried out a few lines and finally landed on my favorite response: “only if your brain is in your taint.”

There was one little 2-minute climb.  Julian started out in front.  We figured we’d ride behind and make sure he made it.  He crushed us.

“I guess he’s feeling better,” I told Jeff.  I had been this way before.

In 2014 on a 30-mile ride Julian wheel-sucked and whined, then he took off in the last 2 miles and left me exhausted to fight the wind all the way home.  I made him buy the beer that night.

Say it with me now…. Douchebag.

We caught him about a half-a-mile later.  Then stop. Wait.  No puke.  Pep talk.  Ride.

It was Angry Ed climbing Mt Lemmon all over again.  At least this ride was downhill with a tail wind — it couldn’t have been easier.

Epilogue

I was feeling all superior and shit — riding better than someone who is slightly younger than my son.  But a few days later, I went for a solo ride.  Legs hurt. Lungs hurt.  Felt like I was going to puke…  Stop.  Self-pep talk.  Easy gear. Coast home.

Happens to everyone.  I’m just glad when it happened to me, I wasn’t around to write about it.

Say it with me now…. Douchebag.

9 replies »

  1. Douche bag. BTW I wear a t-shirt and hiking pants when I ride. No pads, no carbon, no helmet and no attitude. I just ride, and every 30 yds or so I stop to video something. I do have a squeeky duck with a helmet and propeller on it’s head, on my handlebar. That covers me with the helmet police.

    I do notice that those in full spandex racing kits and helmet, jetting along at 12 MPH, usually don’t acknowledge me when I wave. Those in cut off jeans do.

    Liked by 2 people

      • Understood. But I was being kind of a douchebag writing about my friend “bonking” and then bonking a few days later myself. And most of the “colorful” tight clothes bikers (like me) can be douchebags to other riders on the road… By the way — enjoying your videos and the bike paths around Mass. Makes me want to head east when the pandemic is over.

        Like

  2. Apparently isolation has been a huge boost for bike sales. My parents tried buying an electric one from Trek and they said there’s like a 2-month wait for the Bosch e-bike battery kits. I’m also starting to see a bunch of bikers on the roads (which is annoying when I’m trying to drive around them lol)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Here in the Big Apple the bikes are taking over. We have CityBikes. People rent them from stands on every other corner. Then there are the delivery guys with the motorized bikes nearly mowing me down whenever they can — on the sidewalk, the street, a trail they don’t care. Gotta keep that pizza warm or no tip. Then there are the guys (they are almost always guys) who look like they are training for the Tour de France with all their fancy gear. Going a zillion mph. I hate them. And I like to bike (with padded shorts because my butt is skinny and a helmet because I think I might still have something to contribute to society, but otherwise looking like a regular person out for a nice spin).

    Liked by 1 person

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