Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Adventures in Biking: Step One, Avoid Hills

Today I have Jello for legs.  There may as well be little pieces of pineapple peering out of those two translucent wobbly bits.  Next time you are on your way to potluck or a barbeque, bring my legs.  They'll be very popular.

How did my legs become gelatinous masses?  By biking.

That's right, ladies and gents.  Your resident hairy bespeckled ape of a writer has taken up biking.

Why would I do such a thing?  A couple of reasons:
  • Gas prices are ridiculous in the city.
  • Biking - even at the incredibly slow rate of a slightly overweight hairy bespeckled ape - is quicker than both mass transit AND driving.
  • Evidently I desperately need the exercise.
I usually don't realize how out of shape I am until I try to do something that requires me to be in shape and then, consequently, suffer for it.  This time, I've slowly been working up my biking endurance by riding to rehearsal; taking longer and longer test rides; getting my ass used to the incredibly uncomfortable seat.  I thought it would be enough.  I failed to account for The Hill.

My buddy Pat, who rides in to work and has for a couple years now, forwarned me about The Hill.  It's a stretch of Halsted in between a bridge over the Chicago river and a bridge over a giant set of traintracks right before Chicago Ave.  I've never appreciated flat stretches, never praised the engineering greats who first decided to make streets level, never cursed bridges and inclines as much as I did cursing and peddling my way up the street.

Anyone strolling along the sidewalk this morning would have seen this grown man, beard and glasses spilling out of a helmet, mistaken me for an escaped lunatic with tourettes and a penchant for self-mutilation. 

Actually, that might not be so mistaken a judgement come to think of it.

3 comments:

Chris Othic said...

This made me smile. "[R]esident hairy bespeckled ape of a writer . . ." Brilliant.

Mademoiselle Nessa said...

Hahahaha, my slightly overweight hairy bespeckled ape of a brother is hilarious. Punch that Hill in the face.

GW said...

I know that stretch. No fun. I never did get used to biking over the grating, so I would sometimes use the sidewalk. That bridge is so loud, too. Every time a car drives by you, it sounds like "ARARAIREAAERAIEGARAGHAHHHGHGHHHHG" or maybe more like "SPHIEND"!!! (word verification word)

Eventually I picked a more residential way home.

Three-word final thought: Taintless bicycle saddle