Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Most Improved Canal Biker

DAY 15
Time: 38.13min longer route
36.05min(PB) back, in 3rd gear
Weather: Morning was cool. Cloudy. Sprinkles. Afternoon was dry. Little headwind.

Lame Rabbit
Drove lame Rabbit to mechanic this morning. As a true Dutch gesture, mechanic has a couple of loaner bikes for patrons. Asked, "Can I borrow your strongest bike?" The mechanic gave the bike a couple of whacks on the seat, squeezed the tires and put some extra air in for me. Can you imagine offering a loaner bike to Americans at Wal-mart, Jiffy-Lube or Firestone?

Fast as a Gazelle
Mechanic's bike was an old 3-speed Dutch Gazelle with a hard leather Brooks seat. THREE speeds. WHAAA! Today I flew down the canal in 3rd gear, mostly. NO ONE, count them, NO ONE passed me. Granted, after 9:00 so most people already at work. But, third gear is like having an extra hamster on the wheel. No wonder so many people pass me rapidly on my purple gearless cruiser. Need gears. Not a lot. Three.

Good Vibrations
Could have made butter in my backpack while riding over the bricked street sections though. Chub-chub on really full tires, my eyeballs were rattling just as loud as the bike. Was like riding a cheap vibrating motel bed for a quarter to work. Teeth chattered, too.

I am in the reflection on the light. Tried to improve this fluke shot, but first fluke was the best.
Serious Biker Woman
Arrived at the same time as another fellow colleague and damn serious biker. Coworker was in full gear, gray padded professional biker shorts and red sleeveless tank top made with that stretchy sporty fabric that sucks to your body. Not sure if that is the catalogue description. I've seen guys roll up to the building in Rabo orange and blue biking suits. But this was the first woman seriously clad.

No Choices, Just Ride.
She rides 15km/10miles to and from work a day. Her advice, "I ride every day. No questions. I don't ask myself, are you going to ride today? Then I would have to decide every morning. Maybe, but it's raining or naw it is too cold today. No matter the weather, I ride. I don't talk myself out of it. I don't give myself the choice."

Locker Room
My new biker hero showed me the shower facilities. There's a waiting list for the guy's locker room facilities, but plenty of lockers in the girl's area. I can get my own high school looking gray locker for storing freshness spray and power bars.

Full Package
Not sure why the guy's locker room is so popular. Male biker shorts reveal what is usually concealed. Give a preview of the full package. Think the smart ladies are camping out in the guy's area. May see if I can also get on the guy's waiting list.

Red and Sweaty Swagger
Girls keeping asking if I am hot, sweaty, stinky. Yes, but not in that order. My colleagues know when I walk in the room that I rode the bike. Not because of sweat or stench, but a red flushed face, no make up and a John Wayne swagger from a hard leather saddle on today's bike.

Retro Moment

As a pre-teen during basketball summer camp, every year I would get the 'Most Improved' award. Not 'Best Dribbler', 'Fastest Fastbreaker', 'Best Defender', 'Most Offensive'. After the third time, I cried (was 11ish). I was the best at nothing except getting better than when I showed up on the first day. No glory in 'improving' at a sport camp where the objective for everyone is to improve.

Most Improved Award
Gave myself the 'Most Improved Canal Biker Award' today. Was faster, mentally stronger. Even borrowed a bike to ride. Was better today, with a better attitude. Better than yesterday. Better than when I started. Will send the Rabo Guys some fan mail and share my award, but don't want to make them cry.

Trip in: 0 passed me. I passed 0.
Trip back: 4 passed me. I passed 3. Actually chased down two who passed me and repassed. Felt like a pro.
Boats passed: 1, passed my first boat, going the same direction.

Song of the Day: You're the Best Around from Karate Kid Soundtrack with accompanying karate tournament montage.

Passing the boat on the canal, and jogger at the same time.

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