Monday, December 29, 2008
Old Man Winter has set his grip firmly around the neck of Chicagoland. There is a faint whiff of burning Michelins in the air. If you listen closely, you can even hear the collective whir of wattage spewing indoor trainers on salt stained concrete floors with Phil Ligget's voice serenading the bulging eyes and dried up lungs while mis-identifying riders on old Giro videotapes.
The stubborn are still out there in their moose mitts masked with defiant smirks of derision to the smarmy world of indoor training. "Yes, Johnny, you will surely strangle your balls and likely never sire fine whiney bastards to take your money and ignore you" is a common refrain among the bike shop pillars as they advise their larvae about the hard-knock reality of give and take. " But don't take my word for it, learn for yourself and buy this one." He points. "One-fifty." Smooth.
I used to ride an old cateye that clamped at the bottom bracket and fork. It was loud, obnoxious, and you couldn't store it anywhere. It strangled my balls too. The longer I rode it the more retarded I felt. Paul and Phil calling the Nissan Tour couldn't make the inanity a less bitter pill. Neither did Breaking Away or Zepplin. I threw in the towel twelve years ago on indoor training. Still, no kids.
I decided then to ride outdoors year round. It's an inconsistent mess of water, salt, hypothermia, and the feel good warmth of being bailed out by Jack Frost. It's as relaxing as it is hardcore. "Omigod! You rode? No. Way." Yeah, that was me, but not the two weeks before that, because I also lean on the crutch of laughable commuting distances as I loaf, eat, and get jilted by those damn Bears again. It feels good. Besides, everyone knows that an hour outside is worth two and a half indoors.