Saturday, September 26, 2015

Don't pass, don't collect $200

Standing at, yet, another intersection in my life, this time between age and physical strength, denial and acceptance battle. No matter if at this point, I lift weights or not, no new muscle mass will develop. No fast twitching muscles react at an impulse. 
Yesterday morning, in training for my first half marathon, I ran over an hour. I had a quick and light breakfast, and headed out to Cedar Creek Park in Wantagh, with the disassembled Raleigh R700, aluminum frame bike. The goal was to bike, two times, the entire length from Cedar Creek Park to Tobay Beach (along Ocean Parkway),and back. Although the terrain is flat, and main and unpredictable challenge is the wind. Whimsical, and unpredictable, it changes intensity and direction within the span of a breathe. 
I mind my business while I ride, and remain competitive at all times, even when I am weak and tired. I pedal with and against the wind like a work horse. I rarely change the gears at the expense of leaving my knees sore for the next day. I have been doing road biking over 25 years, starting with the Mongoose IBOC mountain bike with slick tires, heavy chro-molly frame, and now the Raleigh R700. I have had two bike accidents that I clearly recall. One was with the Mongoose mountain bike, in Queens, on a downhill, when a livery cab stopped in front of me, and without any recourse, I rear-ended him straight into the trunk. Fortunately, nothing significant happened. Then the second bike accident was this year during the Cedar Beach Triathlon, in which for some bizarre reason, I don't remember the details, other than waking up surrounded by EMT technicians asking me if I wanted to go to the hospital. I politely declined and finished the triathlon. 
I used to do laps inside Central Park, New York City, and passed most cyclists. I always dreamed to ride in the Tour de France or Vuelta de Espana, or Giro D'Italia. There was no greater satisfaction in the spirit of competition than passing other cyclists. Yesterday, like a bull looking for the red cape, I looked for cyclists to pass. However, this time, I was humbled when I was passed, not by a skinny, athletic, cyclist, but two fat men and one woman. I kept saying to myself, as a consolation, perhaps the female cyclist who passed me must be the champion of Uzbekistan.

I should have a sign on the back of my jersey that I don't like being passed.


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