Just Add Spandex

Just Add Spandex


#Life#Best Of

The children are going to a Vacation Bible School this week to learn about Egypt, Some Old Dude and Eat Lots Of Candy and Eat Lots More Candy and sing some songs and Eat More Candy. At least, this is as reported by my oldest.

No, we are not religious, or rather, not in the traditional “there is a God” sort of way. But rather, I am deeply religious in the “there is cheap child care” sort of a way. And that, friends, is Heaven.


According to my daughter, it’s not a terribly religious experience anyway. Some old dude walked through a sea a long time ago and LOOK I GOT SKITTLES, MOMMY.

It is during this time that I’ve had the joy of riding bikes again. It’s been, roughly, an estimated average of 5.2129 years since this has been a regular occurrence. Precisely, give or take .127 years and 13 days, which is to say that holycrap that bike seat is tiny.

Even here in Seattle, one of the most bike-friendly towns, it’s near murder trying to bike along a road. For one, I’m completely unstable and tend to swerve maniacally back and forth in my bike lane like a texting teenager learning to drive. For some reason, when I turn my head left or right my body tends to follow my giant mellon, like a beacon of light trailing along in the night. Not only does this royally freak out cars who are paying attention, it freaks the shit out of me when they’re not.

So, there’s that.

In general, car-people get a bad rap here for being, well, car-people. Asshats who use the road to their own gain AND WIN because, you know, they are in a ten ton vehicle and bikers are flapping in the wind all sorts of proverbial naked and exposed. Given the aforementioned erratic nature of my biking, I tend to stick to bike lanes or trails: mainly the Burke Gilman.

Which, holyshitballs, biker dudes are not any better than car-people.

I’m clearly not an avid biker. I’m not wearing the biking uniform and I’m not clipped in to my straps and I’m not wearing water on my back in the form of a futuristic backpack. I’m the equivalent of the old dude with the handicap sign hanging from his rear view mirror pumping his breaks down a 45 mph hill to slow to 25. I’m THAT guy. On a bike. Swerving.

(Let me just pause a moment here to profusely apologize to THAT guy. Karma, she is a bitch and she is sly. Sorry, THAT guy. Totally my bad for tailing you. I’m the asshat here. Much love, Me.)

The real bikers are decked out in water-wicking spandex. They have shoes clipped in to their pedals that cost more than my left arm. (Apparently my left arm is of much greater value than the right.) They are aerodynamic like a bullet. They are almost as fast, having shaved their legs, eyebrows and heads. Slick like seaweed in water. They’re always yelling, “ON YOUR RIGHT ON YOUR RIGHT ON YOUR RIGHT” as they pass people on the trail and mutter under their breaths if they tap their breaks even once.

And then there is the fat lady.

She has all the right gear, the spandex and the camel back water hydration pack and the super-fiberglass-lightweight-helmet-of-great-speed. She has the proper shoes. She has the proper bike. But she is not yelling, “ON YOUR RIGHT ON YOUR RIGHT ON YOUR RIGHT” as she is not passing a single person.

Except me.

I almost admire her for this. What great balls she must have to get in to THE OUTFIT and ride with the big guns. Balls or Delusions. Either way, I’m not half the woman she is (uh) and could never imagine having the tenacity to go forth and conquer her fears like that. Maybe they are only my fears, I don’t know. Fear of failure, of not using the right bell or hand gesture or looking like I just don’t fit it.

It was still a lovely ride, even with those biker dudes all up in my business passing every few minutes yelling, essentially, for me to stop swerving and move-the-fuck-over. It was lovely in a way that biking never changes, no matter how old a person gets. It’s a sort of conductor to childhood memories;  Wind flying through your hair, legs pumping, a ridiculous grin spread across your face in glee. I can see why people get in to biking in the first place.

I’ll continue to be the old guy on my bike, straggling, swerving, slowing on hills. And I’ll love every minute of it. In full.


  1. The problem is clear….if they are yelling, “on your RIGHT!” then YOU ARE ON THE WRONG SIDE OF THE TRAIL!!!  wink

    By Michelle M on 2010 07 28

  2. AHAHHAHA. I mean Left? What the fuck are THEY YELLING AT ME.

    Whatever. I couldn’t hear them. They zoom too fast


    By Mrs. Flinger on 2010 07 28

  3. Oh my gosh!  This is the funniest thing to hit my reader in ages!!!!  I hate “those” bikers.  Do they get paid to wear their crazy ass outfits for just training?  I’ve never understood that. . .

    The thing that really ticks me off though is that we can’t take the kids who are learning to ride on the BG because of these guys. Poor kids live so close and are stuck riding circles in the school parking lot for fear of them getting creamed.  Maybe I should just let them ride in the street. . . they might have a better chance at surving.

    By shannon k on 2010 07 28

  4. Shannon, It’s TRUE. The kids are mowed over. They can’t even walk on the trail at some of the parks. ooOOF.

    By Mrs. Flinger on 2010 07 28

  5. ROFL. I’m going to go quote you on FB.

    By Laura on 2010 07 28

  6. I have a bike but it’s growing mold on the side of my house. Sad but true. I dream about riding like the wind but then get all kinds of lazy. I do enjoy looking at some of those biker dudes legs. OMGTHECALVES…cool me down. And don’t tell my Mr.

    By Stacey on 2010 07 28

  7. I’ve been riding my bike a ton more, too. I am a swerver as well. You’re not alone, but it’s a good thing we don’t cycle together!

    By Sarah on 2010 07 28

  8. And as you swerve along you can hum this tune and imagine yourself at about 1:02 min. into the video.



    By Sara on 2010 07 28

  9. No similar issues out in West Texas.  Just have to watch out for the tumbleweeds.  You should totally come out for our triathlon and kickass.

    By TexasRed on 2010 07 28

  10. Hey. You need to come ride on our multi-use coastal path. Bikers are mainly tourists on thier rented vintage looking 5 speeds. LOL You just have to watch out for the idiot ladies who DO pass on the right with only a bike’s tired width to spare, who DON’T tell you they are passing you at zoooming speeds and almost hit your 3 year old daughter. I swear I had only a half second to pull Hope out of the way. Had I been given a full second I could have knocked the chick over right after grabbing Hope.

    By hilary on 2010 07 28

  11. Hehe. I found that post kind of funny because if you put me on a bike (which almost never happens) I end up being THAT guy too. This was good.

    By James on 2010 07 28

  12. http://www.shortform.tv/u/alicia.ramirez/
    check out my kool videos!

    By ali on 2010 07 28

  13. I like to laugh when those crazies with their feet tied to the bike pedals fall down cuz they couldn’t grab the light post when they stopped to wait for traffic. HAHAHAHAHAHA! Really, I’ve seen this happen on my commute home and it was the highlight of my day.

    I’m going to hell, I know this…

    By Colleen - Mommy Always Wins on 2010 07 29

  14. thanks for sharing

    By linksoflondon on 2010 07 30

  15. Zzzoooommm ZZzzoooommmm
    John 3:16

    By Oma Flinger on 2010 07 30

  16. Dammit I already forgot my comment. Except you are hilarious and I love you beesh.

    By VDog on 2010 07 30