A really interesting phenomena is happening with my daily bike rides on the local trail:
I'm becoming a regular.
Which basically means that some of the more routine riders are becoming familiar, and even though I have never spoken to any of them, have begun to construct identities for them:
There's a skinny older guy who rides pretty much the same route I do, the 10 mile loop. He plugs away at it at a fairly quick pace, but in blue jeans and a button up, plaid shirt.
What's the deal, plaid shirt guy?
Maybe he has yet to discover the wonders of lycra and the beneficial effect being jeans-free will have on his nether parts.
And then there's the driven, sporty guy I see all over the dang place, on he bike trail and most of the roads surrounding our property. He's well appointed in his schnazzy bike duds and helmet, super cool Lance Armstrong glasses (no doubt), and flies like the wind on the trails, kicking my ass (fo shizzle!).
That guy is out there, rain or shine, tearing up the roads and bulking up his already dreamy thighs... sigh! I avoid eye contact for fear that I will get lost in his athletic fabulousness... but I digress (je m'excuse, tee hee).
Why is he there everyday, how can he go so fast? (In defense of fastness, tho, I rode a hard 10 miles in under 45 minutes tonight-- getting faster all the time, wheeeeeeee!)
Then there's the middle aged gal who rollerblades with her teenage daughter; she's made great progress in her technique since I first saw her out there, looking most timid and afraid of how hard the ground is, and how far away.
Today, she was flying down the trail, looking triumphant and a wee bit more slender...
And every so often I'll see an older lady cruising on the trails on a bike with an empty baby seat... she gives a general air of unfriendliness, doesn't like to connect and give the perfunctory "hi" and nod as you whiz past her. She looks a little exotic, like a misplaced gypsy woman who is wary of strangers, even those she sees daily on the bike trail.
You have to wonder: why are we all here, day after day?
Each of us has a story to tell, a motivator that keeps us returning to the sore ass and sweaty, bugs in our teeth trail.
It would be nice if each of us had a sign, indicating our particular driving force (and/or pathology):
"Recent Divorce" (the reason a co worker quit smoking a couple years ago and became a triathelete, losing over 100# in the process), "Sexually Frustrated", "Tired of Being Overweight", "Running Away From My Husband and Kids", "Proving to Myself That I Can Do It"... all these reasons and more (altho I think the dude with the plaid shirts could slip his frustrations down a notch with some fashion tips and a trip to Kohl's).
But I'll continue to keep a lookout for my compatriots of cycling, united perhaps not by what drives us but by the wind in our hair and the benefits it affords us all.
p.s. went shopping today, and I'm down a SOLID pants size, and then some...and with only the slightest bit of sucking, can nearly visualize my belly being as flat as it was before I gained all that weight. I'd jump up and down, but am feeling a little faint (just kidding! Actually, I feel pretty awesome, wahoooo!).