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Chicks On Bikes…And Other Simple Cycling Rules

October 2012
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Let’s see, specifically how fast I can undo all of the good things I’ve written about in the last few days – in one post (maybe two)… I’m just kidding – really, no phony baloney “just kidding”, I really am joking… This is a serious post, written by a serious guy, about women on bikes – especially because I’ve got a seriously self-conscious wife who looks a hell of a lot better than she thinks in cycling garb… Ladies, generally speaking, at least in the eyes of most men, you look a lot better in cycling kit than you think. There is a cut-off of course. Perusing the net yesterday I bumped into a funny post that illustrated this with a “what you think we see/what we actually see” photo… Let’s just say in many cases what women think we see is a bit harsher than what we actually see.  Of course, being of slightly more than average intelligence, I won’t attempt to define that, specifically, here. If you are obese, then caution in picking the cycling kit if you are the self-conscious type can be warranted. Maybe go a little loose on the jersey. Other than that, there’s not much else you can do . Cycling shorts are what they are, there is no way around them that I know of – I even felt a little odd at first and I was in pretty good shape (though a touch chunky). The important thing to remember and concentrate on is that your self-consciousness will be short-lived if you put in the miles and follow a decent diet. Now this is a tough position to be in because it is rather normal to tie self-consciousness to the enjoyment of exercise… I should know, part of the reason I used to feel out-of-place in a gym is because I still feel like the scrawny kid I used to be – if you think it’s tough being an overweight woman, try being a skinny young man… I’ve written about this once or twice before, the older kids used to call me “Cambo” in my early teenage years… I didn’t know what that meant till I was in college.  I was home from a break and asked one of the guys I used to play backyard ball with what the dealio was.  It was short for Cambodian…  Back in those days we didn’t have an emotional self-esteem police so they couldn’t be locked up for being jerks, nor could I sue them for every penny that they’re worth for permanently scarring my fragile self-esteem…  No, I had to do the old-fashioned way:  Look at it for what it was and do a butt-load of push ups – then forgive those jerks for being jerks.  Hey, what do you know, no more scarred self-esteem (it must be magic or something). There’s a flaw with thinking that you’re too big to exercise (or to wear the appropriate clothing to do so) though.  As long as you’re not doing something really egregious, like wearing your cycling helmet backwards or wearing cargo shorts over your cycling shorts (on a road bike – more than acceptable on a mountain bike) or wearing your sunglass arms under your helmet straps, most experienced cyclists will be happy for you that you’re out there.  In other words, you’re emotional reaction, as normal as it may be, is exactly the opposite reality. To explain, I’ve seen some hefty folks out running and when I see a Clydesdale on a bike the first thing I think back on is what it was like when I first got into running and cycling, and how weird I felt, and how much gumption it takes to stick with it.  While there will be snobs out there, we all run into them, the vast majority are glad to see you out there.  In other words, more often than not, that self-conscious feeling is due to internal emotions rather than external stimuli.  You’ve gotta let that shit go.  Tell that committee member in your melon to shut it and get to the back of the class and sit in the corner…  Every time he (or she) acts up, smack ’em back in the corner where they rightly belong. On the other hand, there are some “don’ts” when it comes to cycling attire.  Let’s review some rules:

1.  If your gut hangs out of the kit, it does not fit

2.  Fruit and Spandex do not mix – especially ifyou’re a GUY!!!

3.  Dude, saddles are not an option, they’re a necessity.  Also, if you crash and can impail your chest on your stem, you’ve got a problem

              And one from the Bike Snob:  This one is specifically for us guys:  Don’t dress like chicks.

Dammit, if you do that, you deserve it when you are laughed at.  Sorry man, but banana hammocks are bad enough on a beach.  Diggin’ the mirrored shades too.  Woof.  Oh, and for extra credit, when is the only time – unless you wish to advertise your gayness to the world – a man can ride a pink bike? A.  When he’s fast enough to kick everyone else’s ass – and even then it’s questionable.  Just sayin’.

Fair warning.  Don’t do that stuff – and if you’re huge, and I mean huge, please take the spandex off and replace with appropriate clothing before you go to the grocery store.

UPDATE:  My apologies for the way the WordPress editor ended up hacking my post together.  I tried to fix it five times and truth be told, it’s too pooched to fix.

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5 Comments

  1. Chatter says:

    Amen brother. Can’t say much as I myself being a Clydesdale. Of course you get a group of us together and our large frame bikes and we dwarf the regular riders – and we are not all fat!

  2. jimmyjtaylor says:

    You need to let Lance Armstrong know about the banana hammock rule. He sported one through a tri a couple of weeks ago.

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