Monday, May 01, 2006

Cross-Trainer Season



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.


5 comments:

Tree Trunk Ho Slappa said...

Wouldn't having big beef cake muscles slow you down in the short run, but allow you to climb hills more easily? So if it was a race between you and big beefcake would you win or lose?

Also, i would be very very scared to go 23 mph, and finally, red hook is fun, but not crazy fun..yet. Nice restaurants though.

Jeremy Rosen said...

What about those dipshits in CARS who race you?

TeddyFrank said...

Kristine,
You're right about the uphill, which is why this guy, though he must have topped 250lbs was able to crank up the hill as fast as he did. I would say that it was less his size and more my ability to maneuver around the hasidem on the Williamsburg bridge that allowed me to beat him over the whole length of the bridge.

Jeremy,
I do love it when cars try and race me. They'll honk from behind then whiz past then stop 100 feet ahead at the light as I sail through. In the past I would do an open hand pound on their windows, which makes an enoumous sound when you're inside of the car, but after Laura had to watch me almost become the victem of vehicular homicide after I did just that and then had my chain come off, I've since taken to just rolling past and knowing I'm the shit.

Jeremy Rosen said...

I came to the realization early that cars in general at least weigh a pair of tons, so I've always done little to piss off drivers in an overt manner. So I basically just do the sail-through thing, too. Their behaviour is so strange.

First, you're going to race a meat motor outclassed by the several horses under your hood. Then, you're going to speed off to the red light. Motorcyclists are even worse sometimes. Dude, you've got two wheels and fire. I've got two wheels and fire only in the spirit sense.

The worst though is often other cyclists. My commute is about 19 miles round-trip each day and I usually make one half the speedy, sweat-building ride and the other a leisurely one where I can look around. Inevitably on the latter there is some chucklehead cyclist (usually on Berry Street or near the Greenpoint Ave. Bridge) who has to turn it into some obviously competitive race.

You go on, Speedy, I'm going to enjoy the view.

Tree Trunk Ho Slappa said...

I would like to have fire under my hood. Instead I am stuck with a flat tire. Both metaphorically and practically.