Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Midlife Crisis: Part Two

I just celebrated my 39th birthday and decided to buy a bike. Living in wine country means there are tons of cyclists, many of whom are good friends of mine. Consequently, I was able to score a great deal on a used bike and can now draw from my friends' vast library of knowledge and personal anecdotes to complete my transformation into an "avid cyclist".

I can admit the timing of all of this is highly suspect, what with my marriage ending this year and my 40th birthday looming on a not-so-distant horizon, but I swear this isn't really a midlife crisis. I had a proper midlife crisis just before my kids were born, so this is more of my midlife "crossroads". What's the difference you ask? I'm not sure but I think it might have to do with the clothes.

I was promptly informed that I need to get a "cycling kit". I thought that was a neat idea! A cycling kit must be some kind of combo bike pump/tire patching/key holding/card carrier/bike light type thingy that you strap your frame, right! Wrong, it's this:

and this...

aaaaaand this...


Why why why why why?! Am I going to be fired from a cannon? I understand there's some function to these things, such as padding, but why so many colors? Why so very tight? What's with looking like a stock car with too many sponsors?

I reached out to my sister Maggie who just started riding a fancy bike herself and asked her what she thought. She jokingly suggested I show up on my first day wearing one of these:

I thought it was hilarious and shared it with a friend who has been coaching me through this transition. She immediately touted the benefits of wearing a "bib."

"My cycling coach wore bibs," she said.

"You can't be serious," I thought to myself.

I once saw a 300lb man wearing something like this and nothing else. He was on a bike and riding up a slight incline toward a winery I used to work at. He was straining only slightly less than his outfit.

Maggie assured me that all I needed was a pair of padded shorts and a helmet so I'm following her lead. The lumpy neon alien look can wait until my kids leave for college.

1 comment:

  1. Truth. I have three pairs of hand-me-down shorts from Peter. Since it's gotten cold, I also purchased a windbreaker/waterproof layer, a warm base layer to wick sweat off the ol' bod, and leggings. If the tight shorts make you feel self-conscious, they make loose shorts with pockets and whatnot that basically look like board shorts. I would also recommend a fleecey headband to cover your ears.