Saturday, August 6, 2011

Types of Riders

1.  "Real" riders don't stop for potty breaks.  OK, I get that.  They don't want to stop.  Sometimes there aren't bathrooms near by.  Get that too.  Here is what I don't get..."Real" riders just keep going ...while going.  Get that?  They don't stop.  They just go.  They go to the bathroom on their bike!!!!  Oh gross!  I will NEVER be a "real" rider.  I hope I never ride with a "real" rider. BTW - I don't personally know any "real" riders.

2.  "Red Riders" are riders that ride the Tour de Cure with diabetes.  So they are diagnosed diabetics that are riding.  Now if you don't know much about diabetes, here is a quick crash course.  Exercise causes your blood sugars to go down.  Low blood sugars are bad.  So, riding a bike long distance can be a challenge for diabetics.  Because of this, we are supposed to yell "Go Red Rider" when we pass them on a ride.

3.  Group riders are supposed to communicate.  They are supposed to say "passing on the left" or "car back" or "debris"  or "pothole".  Now this is a problem for me.  Remember that I can barely breathe while I am riding so this communicating thing is difficult.  Today, I should've yelled "debris" to the person behind me, but I couldn't remember the word.  All I could think of was "junk".  I'm hopeless.

4.  Serious riders can change their own tires.  They don't call AAA.  Really.  Today I saw a rider covered in grease from doing bike repairs.  Me?  I don't do maintenance.  I barely know where to find the wheel.  My last experience with chains was in 1973.  Haven't touched one since.  Don't plan on it either.  This is why I am married.  I call him.

5.  Recreational riders are like me.  I am a recreational rider.  I don't get my bike "wet".  I don't have to worry about my blood sugar.  I don't communicate.  I can't change a tire.  I just ride my bike and whine a little.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Well, this weekend is a new chapter in my biking adventure.  Tomorrow, we do our first group ride.  Now, I've never ridden in a group and I suspect that it must be really different.  So, I am very glad that there is going to be a class beforehand. It is called:  "How to Ride in a Group."  Clever, huh?

Good thing I'm not a super competitive person.  A competitive person would have to be the leader of the pack.  That would be a problem because I am not a fast rider (I hear your gasp of surprise).  In fact, if it weren't for the fact that being last could mean I am downwind from the group, I would probably be content to be last.  I like to lolly-gag while I ride.  I'm content to search for yard art.  Here is my current favorite:

Now, some of you might be asking a very good question...downwind?  I'm not talking about drafting (although I think I could REALLY like that).  I'm talking about the downwind that hunters talk about.  We are in Houston.  It is the driest, hottest summer on record.  Dry means no rain, dry does not mean no humidity.  That means people who are outside are sweating.  People who are outside exercising are sweating like pigs.  People who sweat like pigs, smell like pigs.  I'm not joking!  Now, are you imagining the peril of the situation?  That means that there is only one thing to do....well two.  I could stay home in bed OR I could put on my big girl panties, stop whining, and ride faster to escape the biking perfume.

The big question is... what will I do?  Maybe I'll go buy a case of deodorant.  Tune in tomorrow for more details.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

I would rather ride 27 miles than....

I decided that I would put my whining into perspective.  I would rather ride 27 miles than...

1.  Run.  We have friends whose son just placed 2nd in a 50K run.  50K?  50K?  I know that I couldn't even run 1K!  I'm not even really sure how long 1K is!  (I did get a kick out of the name of the race "Big Butts".  How fun!)

2. Watch ANY of the "Friday the 13th" movies.  I don't even know how many there are now.  If you know, then you scare me.  I have NO desire to watch them.

3.  Work as a garbage collector.  In Houston today the heat index is predicted to be 110.  Can you imagine riding on the back of a garbage truck in that?  Talk about stinky!  Whew, it makes me gag to think of it.

4.  And speaking of gagging...I rather ride 27 miles than throw up all day long.  My record is 17 times in 12 hours.  My friends call me "The Queen of Vomit"  Once I start, it just won't stop.  I ride anywhere rather than do that again.

5.  Watch my dad and friends poke themselves 5 times a day to check their blood sugar and then give themselves shots.  It's time to find a cure.  Won't you please donate to Tour de Cure?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


So, announcing that you are riding 27 miles in a fundraiser gets some unusual responses.  Here are some of my favorites:

1.  Eyebrows raised with look of incredulation.  Then they suddenly realize that might be rude and try to change their expression (usually not quick enough).
2.  Laughter, out loud.  Then they stop the out loud part, but can't seem to stop the twitching of the lip.
3.  "Ok, so you will be going about 15 miles an hour, so it should take you about 2 hours.  That's not bad."  This was from a professional cyclist.  He obviously doesn't know me.  He doesn't know that I am allergic to exercise and that this whole experience is a lesson from God.  I think it's to teach me to pray more often.
4.  "Oh, piece of cake.  I know lots of people who ride the MS150."  I think:  well good for them,'re going to be sorry you said that when you are at my funeral!!!  The obituary will say, "Death by Bike".
5.   "Good for you!"  followed by a look at my fat and then that smug look.  You know, the one that says "I'm glad I don't have to do that.  I'm naturally skinny." or "Its about time she starting exercising."
6.  "Really, you? Why?"  (These tend to be the people who know me best.)
7.  "Wow, I can't ride a bike anymore.  I had a wreck once and now I'm scared to death of bikes.  You might get hit by a car!"  Gee, that is exactly what I wanted to hear.  That makes me feel sooo motivated.  Kinda makes me think of "The Christmas Story."  "You'll shoot your eye out. (in a sing-song voice)"
8.  "What were you thinking?  You're an intelligent woman!"  Now, this is the one that I relate to the most, because I really don't know what I was thinking.  I am still baffled.  I'm getting somewhat comfortable with 6 miles.  I did 12 once.  Nearly died.
September 24th, mark it your calendar.  It's the day I will die.  REALLY!

I guess at this point, I should post a disclaimer cause some of you are reading this and thinking, "Oh, no!  What did I do when she told me?"  So, here is my disclaimer.  None of these are exact quotes and I wasn't thinking of anyone particular person when I typed it (well except the professional, but he's not my friend.  He was just trying to sell me a bike.)

Saturday, July 30, 2011

A Day of Firsts

FIRST time I rode in the double digits.  My GPS said 11.22, dear hubby's GPS said 12.39.  Now we rode together the whole time, so obviously his is right and mine was wrong.  Somewhere I lost a mile.  For sure, I am going with HIS mileage and not mine.  I mean after all, the best policy is always honesty.

FIRST time I rode more than one hour.  Wow, even I am impressed!  My fat derriere sat on the tiny (anatomically correct) saddle for 1 hour, 9 minutes, and 31 seconds.  BELIEVE me!  EVERY single one of those seconds counts!!!

FIRST time I got a cramp.  For real.  It was in my hip when I put my foot down for a stop sign.  I yelped and pulled it back up in the riding position.  It finally went away but that sucker HURT.  I am slowly killing myself.  I started to have a moment of panic.  What if I can't ride home?  I will have to send Scot home to get the truck to come get me and I will be sitting here alongside the road (with my bike) and people will stare and the child in their car will ask "Why is that fat lady sitting instead of riding?"  and they will think I am being lazy.  When in reality, I would be hurt and in GREAT pain.  But, if I laid there writhing in pain, then people would stop and try to help me.  Boy, that would be embarrassing - all for a cramp.  All that went through my mind, and then I realized the cramp was gone.  Whew, crisis avoided.

FIRST time I ran out of water.  It is dog hot here in Houston.  One water holder may not be enough.  I may need to add another one.  Boy, wouldn't that make my bike look professional.  Of course, I still don't look professional (too fat).  Speaking of professional (maybe that is the wrong word, I mean they don't get paid, but they are way more than the recreational ride around the block type, and way more serious than me.) one passed us today.  How do I know he was professional?  He was riding at least twice as fast as us AND had enough breath to say "Good Morning"  (I used capitals, because it was quite cheery.)  Now, I was so breathless (it was around mile 10) that I couldn't even mutter under my breath, because I had no breath.  But, I thought ugly off.

FIRST time I went straight from the bike to the pool.  In my clothes.  There was NO WAY that I could peel a swim suit over my sweaty body, so I just went in with my biker shorts and shirt.  I figure that I saved my washing machine the trouble.  That is a good thing, right?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Stars Aligned

The stars aligned and the sun came up and I had no excuse for not riding with my husband.  The truly sad thing is that I can make all kinds of excuses for NOT riding.  And you know what?  They sound great in my head. They sound great when I am mumbling them from the bed.  They sound whiny when I repeat them later in the day.  This whole biking thing is forcing me to realize that there are some things about myself that I don't like.  I will list them for you:

1.  I am a whiner and sometimes I like it.
2.  My excuses are best mumbled into a pillow.  I need to get more creative
3.  My gluteous maximus ___________  (you can fill in the blank here...hurts, is big, etc).
4.  I am impulsive.  Remember? Signing up to ride 27 miles was totally an impulse. 
5.  I like air conditioning.  (I don't really hate that about myself, but it seemed to fit in the list).

But, I've also discovered some cool new things.  I will list them for you too:

1.  Lots of people have very interesting yard art.  When you are driving a car, you are going too fast to notice.  I always wondered who bought all those cement figures when I passed their lots.  Now I know.  They are my neighbors.  (BTW, just in case you are interested, angels are the most popular.)  Ooooh, maybe I'll start a cement yard art tally.  "Today was an 18 angel, 1 rabbit, 4 lion, and 2 turtle kind of day."  Would that interest anyone?
2.  Biker shorts are made to be worn without undergarments.  My first thought was "Really?  Oh no, I need all the padding I can get!"  But, since you can be on the bike for long amounts of time and undergarments can sometimes bunch and wad, it kinda makes sense.  In a gross kind of way.
3.  I found a new cool app for my iPhone that tells YOU when I ride.  Maybe, just maybe, it will inspire a few things.  I could feel accountable to you, my reading public, to actually exercise.  You might decide, if a fat mom can ride, you can too.  I might raise money that helps to find a cure for diabetes.  (Just imagine, my riding would put the research account just over the top and they would be able to Bam!, find a cure, and then they would want to recognize me...They would bring me up on a stage with my bike, and I would thank YOU, my loyal public, and then I would bow and look down and suddenly realize that I am on stage in biker shorts and no underwear under (of course) and be totally embarrassed that I am a fat biker mom on stage in front of everyone and it would be all YOUR fault for not encouraging me to ride more.)  See it???  A major motion picture in the works...

Friday, July 15, 2011

Mornings, blech

I am not a morning person.  Never have been, doubt I ever will be.  I really, really don't like mornings.  I feel slightly ill when I get up.  Especially in the morning. 

So, because of this my family has learned through the years to leave mommy alone when she is "pre-coffee".  In fact, if there were a motto at our house, it would be "Nothing happens pre-coffee".  I don't do mornings.  I don't do them well.  I prefer to not do them at all. 

Somehow, I married a morning person.  (God has a sense of humor doesn't he?)   I discovered this early in our relationship and after 20 years of marriage, I still don't get it!  Scot can wake up, pull on clothes, walk out the door whistling, and start mowing the yard within 3 minutes. When I get up, I am bleary eyed and unfocused.   I stumble into the kitchen to get a cup of coffee and then I go sit on the couch and stare into space while breathing the steam of my coffee.  Occasionally, I take a sip.  Now you know the secret of our marriage:  He brews.  It is biblical - He brews. 

You may think I am exaggerating.  I'm not.  I don't do light, music, or sound.  I gag very easily and have been known to throw up - often.  I just don't do mornings.

So, here is my problem.  We live in Houston.  Hot, muggy, damp, steamy Houston.  So, for years Scot has been trying to get me up early to exercise.  Two reasons: one, it is somewhat cooler and two, that is when he exercises and he likes to be with me (isn't that sweet?).

I've tried it twice this week.  Both times I got up at 6:30 and went for a bike ride with him.  Good news, I did not throw up!  Bad news, I am soooo tired.  Does it negate your workout if you take a nap afterward?  This is really one of my biggest exercise struggles.  If I don't get up early and do it, it is less likely to happen AND it is hot - dang hot.  But, I hate mornings.

Here lies the problem...27 miles is looming up at me in about 70 days!!!  Oh, what have I done?  (Maybe I should rename by blog "Lamentations of a Fat Biker Mom.")

Anybody have any hints for how to overcome?

PS - If you google "fat biker mom", my blog comes up.  Cool, huh?

PPS - Someone needs to ask my husband how this equation works:
beans + bike shorts = six pack abs
It's his theory, not mine.