Stop Judging Me!!!

As the alarm clock went off, I reached over to shut it off.  It would be nice to stay in bed for another 30 or 45 min, but I slowly get dressed for the commute, and still somewhat asleep I roll my bike out of the garage, mount up, and start peddling …..

“Whoooaaaa — who is this?” says my cyclometer (Pyscho, I’ve named him).  “Haven’t seen you in quite a few days — what gives?”

“Don’t hassle me, I’m still asleep” I grumbled.  “I’m here, aren’t I?”

“Yeah, it’s you alright, along with a few more pounds.  Well, get going, we have some work to do.”

I start cycling down my street and make the turn onto Cady Way Trail.

“So ….where you been, man?” asked Psycho.  “You obviously haven’t been anywhere near me”.

“Aww, cut me some slack! Haven’t you been outside lately — it’s been freezing cold for more days in a row that anyone can remember!”  I said.

“Cold didn’t used to stop you”  Psycho replied.

“Yeah, well …… I also was sick for a few days.  Didn’t want to turn it into pneumonia.  So I took in the car.”

“Cager” Psycho said, baiting me.

“Just shut-up and let me ride, OK?” I growled, dumb enough to take the bait.

“Listen Tubby-McFattypants,  maybe you might want to put a little effort into this commute so we can get to work before lunchtime, OK?  You might even start to drop some of that Holiday Extra you got hangin’ round your middle if you put some effort into it.”

I didn’t reply, but increased cadence.  Stupid Cyclometer, I know I was going a little slow, but hey, I was just getting back into it – getting my rhythm back, ya know?

So we go on for a little bit, and then I come to Mt. Cady, and begin the slow climb up.

“Oh My Gawd!  Did you just shift down into Granny Gear?  You got to be kidding me!”.   Psycho sounded aghast.

“I don’t remember it being this steep” I huffed.  (“Am I this of shape?” I think to myself).  “But I’ll get there ….”

Finally making the top, I shift into higher gears and begin down the backside of Mt. Cady …

“Coasting?  Why are we coasting?  Pedal!!”

I ignored him.  I savored the decent and the coasting relaxation that allowed the burning feeling in my legs to dissipate some.

“Aww, that was pathetic, man.  Come on, you’re in the flats now, lets try to get up some speed.  Start pedaling, and maybe I’ll quit calling you names.”

Gritting my teeth, I started mashing the pedals.  For a few minutes, I seemed to be going fine.  However, rounding a corner, I hit what feels like a brick wall. It’s the gusting wind —  head-on, of course.  All that wind slows me down, and I down-shift.

“Oh, Lance? <said with much sarcasm>.  I’m reading 9 …. no,  8 miles an hour here.  You’re not even at double digits, you wimp.  What’s wrong with you?”

“Head …… wind ……. tough ……… go fast …….” I wheezed.  ” ….. trying …..”

“C’mon, man!  Show me a little effort!!  Push!!   Push!!!  Push!!”

I close my eyes for a moment and begin pushing harder.  I watch the speedometer slowing inch up from 9 …..10 ……11 ……12 and it will go no higher.  I’m not sure how long I can keep this up.

But finally there is a turn in the trail, and a slight downhill ride to boot.  I am able to ease up on the effort, wipe the sweat out of my eyes but still keep riding at 12 mph or so ….

“Nice, Nice …Now, that wasn’t so hard, was it?” crowed Psycho.  “Might have even dropped a pound of water-weight with all you sweated.  Although you could stand to lose a few more”.

“It’s never enough for you, is it?”  I gasp out.

“Nope, and you better start gearing up for the final push”.

“Yeah, whatever”.

The final part of my commute calls for speed in order to time the traffic lights.  If you don’t hit them just right, you have to re-double your effort to catch back up in order to make the remaining lights.  Otherwise you are forced to sit at each red light, and it makes the commute soooo much longer.  I know this, and I know that Psycho knows this too …

Coming around the corner, I can see the first light.  It was red, but turns green — not good!!  I now have to pump double-time in order to make the light and catch up …. I push hard and shift up to get up my speed.

“Oh, no.  Not fast enough.  You ain’t gonna make it.  C’mon, can’t you go any faster?  Oh, don’t give me that “my legs are burning” crap!  C’mon, my grandmother can outpace you!

I’m dying a thousand little deaths.  But the rage in me is buidling … “Shut up” I cry.

“C’mon, Sir Legs O’Lard.  Are you quiting on me?  Are you quitting on me?!!  You can’t quit on me!!!  You can’t handle it, can you? You’re gonna let the lights turn so you can rest, aren’t you?  You disgust me!  You don’t deserve to ride on me!!  Go back and get in your car, you cager you!!

I snap.  “STOP …….. JUDGING  ………MEEEEEEEEEEE!!!”

With that yell I reach down towards the front forks.  I find the wire leading from the cyclometer down to the sensor.  I tighten my grip on the wire ….

“What are you doing?  Wait!!  No!!, Don’t!!  You’ll be sorry ….. arrgh!!”

I hold the stripped wires in my hand.  I let it go ………………… and coast up to the red light.  I blow out a deep breath and collect myself.  When the light changes green, I hear nothing …… sweet silence.  I start to relax.

I think I’m going to enjoy the rest of my ride in today …..

Just don’t judge me.    🙂

6 replies
  1. rodney
    rodney says:

    It sucks “getting back” to commuting. Time off really does make it difficult to re-assume the usual routine. I haven’t been riding to/from work as much in the past few months. Since then I have taken on a new Super Hero Identity.

    Utility Cycle Dude! Able to ride the roads of Orlando in good time while his trusty trailer drafts closely behind!

    Keep at it and soon the “found pounds” will vanish and the momentary lapse will be just a memory!

  2. Arthur
    Arthur says:

    OMG, Great Story!!
    It happens all the time, the cyclometer is always trying to dictate the commute…
    But it’s not wrong at all !!

  3. fred_dot_u
    fred_dot_u says:

    I sure hope my cyclometer, or heaven forbid, my entire velomobile never finds out about this sort of thing. I’m pretty sure that Yehuda Moon has to battle similar demons.

  4. drummergeek
    drummergeek says:

    Great story Andrewp! That was so funny! I hate it when the wind causes me to get down to single digit speed too.

  5. Eric
    Eric says:

    May I introduce you folks to the concept of “Slow Cycling”? This is the concept of riding at or near the single digits all the time.

    Practiced by millions of cyclists all over the world, rather than beating oneself to death exercising, cycling becomes part of an active, relaxing, lifestyle rather than an activity.

    Most people ride this way with only a 3 speed bike. They sit upright. No clownish clothes. No cracking a sweat (except in FL where just walking outside in the summer causes sweating). No rush — if you have a long distance to travel, and don’t want to drive, then perhaps a bus would work better?

    When commuting to work, slower can even be faster.

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