Ughhhhhhhhhhh soooooooooo windy out. UGHHHHHHHHHHH.
Yeah, I am currently a whine-fest, but I really love how the week after I meet with my faux-ch, it rains for most of the week. I mean, nevermind that I’m swamped with work and I couldn’t get out to ride anyway...how am I supposed to hit my 100+ miles/week goal at this rainy rate?
Well, in other news, my leg is starting to feel okay. When I told DS that my hamstring’s been killing me for the past two weeks, he informed me that my body was just adjusting to the bike. As in, HTFU. Hilarious.
With the weather being like it is, I honestly didn’t have much to post about...until, flipping through pictures taken this weekend, I found a picture of these:
Women’s Sidi MTB Dominator 5. Red. Hot. Incredibly hot.
The one on display was my size [I think God’s trying to tell me and/or my credit card something], so I couldn’t resist trying them on. They’re the first MTB shoes I’ve tried and holy shit can you say comfortable?! My toes weren’t pointing up like they do with my road shoes and I could sort of walk normally. PLUS THEY’RE RED. I'm still regretting not spending the money I don't have on these! [FYI, Sidi, I wouldn't mind if you sent me a pair of these, you know, just because.]
With my luck, some luckier girl is going to walk out with that same pair next week. But that’s okay; I’m telling myself that despite how incredibly sexy they are, they won’t match either of my bikes, nor would I be able to do longer rides with SPD pedals, anyway. Still...don’t they look good on me?!
And if shoes don’t excite you on this otherwise dreary day, how’s a sick Geekhouse ‘cross bike for you? This baby is now sitting pretty in NYC Velo; Marty himself even brought it from Boston. Which is a good thing, because it’s something like a 56cm [don’t quote me on that], and Andy actually asked me if I could bring it down with me this past weekend. I’m not sure if he wanted me to strap it to my back or actually try to ride it, but both would have resulted in a destroyed Geekhouse by yours truly.
Granted, it would have been funny to watch, but I’m pretty sure both Marty and Andy would have killed me.
Okay that’s all I got for you on this seriously shitty hump day. Vicarious retail therapy. Speaking of which...anyone have any short-sleeve jersey recommendations?
Melanin. It's such a bitch.
I understand the appeal of sun-kissed tans and healthier complexions. But where I come from, halfway across the world, white is beautiful. The desire to maintain or achieve pale, nearly translucent skin has women carrying parasols, applying "whitening" lotions, and wearing long sleeves in the humid, scorching Tokyo summer.
I assume the paleness used to connote status and inclusion into a higher socio-economic class that didn't have to toil in rice paddies. The sheer irony is that I inherited my relatively pale skin tone from my father who grew up in the countryside, not my city-born-and-raised mother. And while my looks might not have my parents' friends complimenting me, they will always mention how "incredibly pale" I am.
Or, perhaps more accurately, how pale I used to be. I was hoping a New England winter cold enough to necessitate biking to school in a down jacket would blast away the color from my skin. Maybe enough hours in the library would wash away the embarrassing tan lines. Maybe that computer monitor tan would counteract the real brownish tinge my skin acquired last summer.
It was all in vain. Yesterday, peeling off my leggings after my third final exam and stepping into shorts for about the third time this year, I realized that my legs are still ridiculously tri-toned. I don't mind the clear line of my shorts tan; that can be worn as a cyclist's badge of pride. It's my propensity to wear knee high socks that's resulted in the ultimately embarrassing: my calves are significantly paler than my thighs.
My legs looking like candy corn, I pedaled home in knee highs, then, despite the bruises scattered over my unshaven legs [I've been busy, okay?], I bit the bullet and pulled on some shorter socks. If I want my legs to look somewhat normal again, my calves are going to have to get some sun. Nevermind the inevitable cycling socks tan; we'll cross that bridge when we get there.
Self-conscious about my multi-colored legs, I was pedaling furiously through Allston and Brighton hoping that the blur of motion will somehow blend all the colors together. I came home, my calves no less stunningly white, smears of chain lube accentuating their lack of color even more.
Meanwhile my thighs, nose, and cheeks are suspiciously rosy red. Maybe I should look into getting a recumbent...
Oh, and study.
That's pretty much all I did yesterday. I fell into bed early on Saturday in anticipation for the Sunday morning ride, even though there was no route planned. And possibly no ride partner, Pete having texted me late Saturday night that he was up for the ride but was an "anarchist party." I figured he'll be a no show.
I woke up bright and early to a comment on my blog from Pete. Written well past 1am. Yeah, right, he's going to be ready by 8.30am, I thought. Screw it, I was going to do two 15 mile loops without stopping anyway [my first 30 miler - sad but true], Pete or no Pete. But a small chat box popped up in gmail around 7.45 - Mr. Pete Shelby himself, awake and willing to go on a ride after about 5 hours of sleep, even with work from noon to 6pm at CB. He picked up a Red Bull at the Store24 and we headed right into gusty winds towards hills and, for me, 30 miles of fixed [anticipated] agony.
We didn't stop [minus the few red lights we didn't blow through] until we had thrown down 14 or so miles, and we pedaled past an apparent fire in Brookline. There were about seven fire trucks, the road was blocked off by police cars, and ambulances also lined the street. I used it as an excuse to snap a few pictures, eat some offered gummi bears, hydrate, then slide my feet back into the clips to do 15+ more miles.
My toes numb by mile 20, I was seriously jealous of Pete's Sidis [I haven't set mine up yet]. My legs were sort of on autopilot halfway through the second loop, and only familiar landmarks and the desire not to be seen/labeled a lame quitter kept me pushing on the pedals. Well, that and good jokes - seemingly perfectly timed - which had me laughing to the point of not realizing that I was already halfway up a hill and that I just had to push a little more to crest the mofo.
My knees seemed to think 28 miles was quite enough as the last stretch home got slightly uncomfortable. That could be due to my sprint through the intersection in Washington Square, though; we never seem to make the light, except on Sundays. Sighting a green as we came down Beacon Street, I yelled ["It's Sunnnddayyyyy!!!"] and whooped as we burst through the light as it turned yellow. Gritting my teeth, sniffling while trying to breathe/pant, head down, slouched into my drops, we finished the ride in two hours and change. Less than 15mph; yeah, slow. Still, don't hate.
I proceeded to stretch, shower, stuff my face, and fall asleep on my books [missing polo!], but dreaming of pretty bikes, summer rides, and all things Rapha [Pete unzipped his jacket just enough as we said goodbye to reveal a baby blue Rapha jersey...yeah that whole "starving artist" front is totally just to get chicks].
Next time, we'll do it faster.
[Today's also my older sister's birthday - the only person who is capable of making me cry in sheer envy of her artistic talent, call me on all my bullshit, and the first person who taught me that what doesn't kill me will only make me stronger. Thanks, Kanako. Happy Birthday!]
Whenever my Mom tries to admonish me about not being [insert any adjective of your choosing, popular ones include: smart, stylish, intelligent, prepared] enough, I pull out a handy Japanese proverb:
"A frog's child is a frog, Mom, I'm only going to be as good as you and Dad."*
To which she will either sigh, disappointed, and claim I inherited most of my genes from my father, or furrow her brow and say:
"You aren't the hawk the kite gave birth to?"**
I am no hawk. This is clearly evidenced by my inherited [from my Mom] love of shoes. Back in the Time Before Bike [TBB], I had at least 20 pairs of shoes - boots, heels, stilettos, kitten heels, ballet flats, etc. - that I actually wore; several more pairs had to stay at home in Japan. This complicates things when I'm at home, because all three shoe closets are taken up by my Mom's shoes. Thank God we don't wear the same shoe size, or the bickering [and borrowing] would be neverending.
The obsession [also applicable to handbags], sort of faded after the purchase of my bike. I'm currently running three pairs of sneakers into the ground, and I haven't bought a pair of shoes in over a year [to my best friend's absolute horror]. Well, until about a week ago.
Because when the going gets tough, the tough naturally go shopping. And retail therapy is never sweeter when it's presented as a huge sale. And there's no better deal when you can get a pair of shoes you've been fantasizing about at less than half the retail price.
Yeah, I'm officially rocking a pair of Sidi's. The footwear of champions and everyone who likes to clip clop in public. I understand black shoes are only for domestiques, but due to the fact that I'm trying to work my way up to that status, I think it's only appropriate. I picked up the shoes last night [after deciding against SPD pedals, and going with straight road ones], and clopped around in them in my apartment, gleefully. It even motivated me to shave my legs, which I hadn't done in about...oh...three weeks [okay, bumping into Croth and his perfectly hairless legs the other day probably motivated that decision, too].
I have to admit, I'm sort of scared of trying them out. Friends at IBC assured me that getting out of clipless pedals is actually easier than toe clips:
Jeremy: Because when you're about to fall, you'll sort of naturally twist your foot.
Me: So I'll just land on my top tube instead of crashing and burning with the bike attached to me?
Marcus: At least you're not a guy.
* "Kaeru no ko wa kaeru" - Meaning that a child takes after her parents, and will grow up to be pretty much just like them. ** "Tombi ga taka wo unda" - Used in the rare situation where a child out-accomplishes her parents.