Monday, May 01, 2006
Every year around this time, when the days get longer and the weather gets warmer, more and more people get on their bikes and ride around New York. Of them, there is a special subset who try to race me, they are the cross-trainters. The cross-trainers are the guys who have spent the winter in gyms lifting weights, running in place and sweating their asses off racing one another in spinning classes. When the weather gets warm enough, they get on their bikes and try to prove their mettle racing me through traffic, up bridges and through congested park drives.
They usually have enourmous arms, great tans and expensive bikes. One of these guys will see me in traffic, they'll chase me with a huge burst of energy sprint and will whizz past me. Then I'll follow them for about a block just to see if they have any technique whatsoever then I'll pass them. They'll get a little bit peeved, try to catch up, but then find out that maneuvering through New York City traffic and blowing red lights requires something greater than a 40 bpm resting heart rate and great deltoids.
Yes, I realize that this is silly, peurile, elitist behavior. Yes, I know that it cheapens me and denigrates my charachter to mention it in a forum as public as this, but god damn it's just so...much...fun!
Yesterday on the bridge I had a particularly good time. I was going from Manhattan to Brooklyn on the Williamsburg Bridge, passing people on the way up. This is not so much machismo as smart practice, since I have only one gear and if I lose momentum I'm screwed. I passed this big huge brute of a guy who could clearly bench my and his bodyweight combined. He had these ridiculously large calves that looked like ham hocks. After I passed him I heard him start breathing harder and out of the corner of my eye I saw his shadow lurking behind me. I sprinted the rest of the way up the bridge and started on the gradual descent near the middle of the bridge. As I got into the final ramp of the bridge, going 23mph, I again saw his shadow getting bigger, he had a lot more gravity on his side and he wanted to pass me bad before the bridge was over. I cranked it up to 32mph and made it off the bridge, he turned a different way and I never saw him again. Good times.