Thursday, May 14, 2009

Bike to Work Week - Day Four

Time: 45 minutes, 5 seconds
Distance: 8.35 miles

Went a different direction this morning as a change of pace after three trips toward town. Stopped at the bank in Lincoln Heights and then headed south on Freya all the way to Moran United Methodist Church. The brisk wind in the aftermath of last night's rain made the entire ride a challenge.


I'm not certain anybody looks good in spandex, and I'm pretty damn sure nobody my age and weight does. Most days I feel I've reached a point in life where I'm not easily intimidated. But it's hard to feel like a real bicyclist in the presence of sleek athletes in skin tight black and yellow uniforms, cleated shoes securely attached to their carbon fiber machines, while I'm peddling about wearing jeans and a second hand jacket. 

Cowering in the presence of these banshees, I'm reminded of how I felt entering the 7th grade. Seemingly everyone in the school bought their clothes from the same shop, a boutique called Rod's. I wore mostly hand-me-downs from my three older brothers, though that fall I was lucky to have a brand new shirt of my own, albeit from JCPenney. The very first day I wore it, one of my "cool" classmates came up behind me, turned the collar of my shirt out to verify that it wasn't from Rod's, and then pulled up the little loop sewn onto the back pleats, tearing my shirt, my one new shirt, in the process. I was terribly angry, and totally humiliated.

Ever since that time I have compensated for my low social stature by swearing off anything that is cool or fashionable. As if you hadn't noticed. Included on my list of taboos are spandex riding togs. My disdain for such finery was affirmed again just yesterday when I ducked into REI on my ride home. There were some very nice short-sleeved biking jerseys just inside the door, picturing Mt. Rainier and other signature features of the State of Washington. The price tag trilled $70. I coughed in exasperation and withdrew.

So each day I don my moral indignation with my jeans before I ride, though I confess that seeing myself in my uncool clothes brings back all the old insecurities that I should have left behind with my acne.

I tell you what, I'm making a resolution. If I can get my weight down another 20 pounds, in addition to the 45 I've lost, I'll buy some spandex. I'll even take pictures of myself in my new duds! 

Not one to have such fun alone, I invite you to participate by entering the "Why I Shouldn't Receive a Photo of Hollis in Spandex" haiku contest. The winner of the contest WON'T receive a photo. All non-winning entrants will receive a tasteful frontal photo. Anyone NOT entering the contest will receive 3 photos: anterior, posterior, and full profile. Take that, you banshees!

Note to my UCC friends: The 3rd of my photos is also known as the Unprofessional Profile. Merely receiving it in your inbox is likely grounds for your mandatory attendance of a supplemental boundary training workshop. It also could lead to a fitness review... for you. The photo will constitute mine.

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