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05/05/2003 Archived Entry: "Victory on the Bike Path"

Yesterday I moved a bunch of crap out of my computer room and this morning woke up with very, very sore legs. The four days of cycling last week hadn't affected me at all, but going up and down three flights of stairs all afternoon with heavy boxes, tables and couches certainly took its toll. I still decided to take a bike ride and now my legs feel as if they are filled with molten lead.

Out on the bike path I felt pretty good. I developed a sort of friendly rivalry with a gentleman in his mid to late forties. I was drafting* the guy for a while then I decided that I would pass him to, you know, show this older man who was boss. "Nice weather, we're having," he said as I passed.

"It sure is!" I said as I sprinted ahead.

A few minutes later he passed me. "It's supposed to rain tomorrow!" I announced.

"I know! That's why we have to take advantage of the nice weather today!"

"You said it!"

I then decided I would draft him for a while more until I found the right opportunity to make my move. The man was in good shape. I pedaled behind him for ten or twenty minutes, biding my time. His calves were bulging as if each was stuffed with a glistening roasted Thanksgiving Day turkey.

We came to an incline and I decided that I would make my move. As we pedaled up the hill I dug deep and passed him in a testosterone-driven fit of machismo. With this move there was precious little time to exchange pleasantries about the weather. This was my final move, my last heart-pumping drive for victory; this was the endgame that would turn one of us into a hero who would reap the spoils of war and the other into a defeated man.

I had done it. I was a champion. Some may say that I did nothing more than defeat a man twice my age who wasn't even aware he was involved in any sort of competition. I will not let the chatter of the naysayers cheapen what I have done. I have precious little time to be a macho man or best anyone in a physical feat of any sort so I will not let the haunting song of the critics wear at me. I got to be a manly man today. I won! I did it, Mom!

Now if you'll excuse me I need to go fix myself a cup of tea and settle down to watch The View.

*"Drafting"--for those not familiar with the term-- is when a cyclist rides close behind another cyclist. To put it in layman's terms: The cyclist in the front creates a turbulent wake behind him or herself. This, in turn, causes a low pressure area directly behind the cyclist. Riding directly behind another cyclist causes one to be able to exert less energy. The decrease in wind resistance is said to save a cyclist up to 40% in energy expenditure. * *

* *Taken from an episode of "Mr. Wizard".* * *

* * *Not ACTUALLY taken from an episode of "Mr. Wizard".

Replies: 23 People Love Me!


Sadly, I have no doubts at all that you actually did make yourself some tea, and the odds are good you watched The View if nothing good was on TechTV ... But who am I to criticize flexible gender identity, after all? How we each "perform" gender is a personal decision, albeit one with social implications ... I will end now before my English major/feminist reading/queer theory training takes things too far.

Posted by Jen @ 05/05/2003 05:49 PM EST

Okay, that was too far.

Posted by Jen @ 05/05/2003 05:49 PM EST

Ha ha.

You are both funny.

Nate, you have won a grand victory today both for yourself and for your people, and don't let anyone tell you different.

Jen, would you say that "queer" is an umbrella term encompassing gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and questioning individuals, or is it something more? Are all non-traditional sexual identities (including less-seen or less-accepted ones like asexual or polyamorous) "queer"? Can a straight person be "queer"?

Posted by Laura @ 05/05/2003 06:48 PM EST

This wasn't the direction I would have imagined the comments section of this post to go in. But the last one was talking about Sci-Fi novels where aliens were physically inferior to humans so I guess anything goes.

My posts often spark much conversation it just rarely has anything to do with what I wrote about. Maybe I should just change this site into a message board.

Posted by Chefelf @ 05/05/2003 07:08 PM EST

Oddly enough, before having read this post, I commented on my own lack of masculinity in television tastes on Laura's journal.

Although I billed myself as WE/SciFi rather than The View/Tech TV.

Posted by Lefty @ 05/05/2003 11:41 PM EST

I currently have, waiting to be watched on my ReplayTV:

(let's hear it for the men!): a movie about a blind samurai; a movie about (i think) female space aliens on Venus.

(let's hear it for the ladies!): a drama about Abelard and Heloise; a movie about a ghost who is Patrick Swayze.

Posted by Paul @ 05/06/2003 11:35 AM EST

I saw that Ghost came on but I didn't watch as it was 6 and it said it had come on at 5:20. You must watch movies from the beginning!

I don't think I did the wrong thing however since I had watched two episodes' worth of research for the top-secret BMW Project from 4:30 and 5:30 and had spent the following half-hour finishing and revising my notes for same.

Posted by Laura @ 05/06/2003 11:40 AM EST

I frequently race people without them knowing. Swimmers do this a lot, well, at least I do. I race the old people swimming back crawl in the lane next to me.

Posted by Lisa, Jen's other sister @ 05/06/2003 05:44 PM EST

Oh so it's not just me. Isn't it exhilarating? It always feels good to beat someone twice your age at a random physical feat.

Posted by Chefelf @ 05/06/2003 11:07 PM EST

Now I know why as a toddler you loved to sing "Macho Man." Ah, the 70's!

Posted by Mom @ 05/07/2003 08:51 AM EST

Thanks, Mom. I'm gonna hear about this one. ;-)

Posted by Chefelf @ 05/07/2003 09:19 AM EST

Okay, remarks in order:

1) re: Laura's post -- you raise an interesting question. I would initially say that the polyamorists and the asexual are not queer, but I would have to delve into the literature to be sure. I will, however, consult with some people and check it out, since I have no backing for that statement.

2) re: Paul's post -- a movie about Abelard and Heloise? I would totally watch that. And the sanmurai thing.

3) re: Lisa's post -- for some reason that does not surprise me.

4) re: Nate's mum's post -- Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha. Macho Man, eh? Hahahahahahahahahaha.

Posted by Jen @ 05/07/2003 02:26 PM EST

I had very little control over the dial on the radio when "Macho Man" was a hit (c. 1979). All I could do was to dance around and sing the song. And thus began by early experimentation with homosexuality and disco.

Posted by Chefelf @ 05/07/2003 03:56 PM EST

Drafting seems like a wonderful thing. Does this mean its almost always better to be in second place or so, right behind the guy in first, and then take off near the very end? It seems like it sort of does. And what if both of the people think of this; does it turn into a competition to get behind the other one? That must be fun!

Posted by Rory @ 05/08/2003 02:24 PM EST

That actually is a technique a lot of riders use but strangely the person being a drafted is also at an advantage. Having the person behind them in that low pressure area causes them to cut down on energy expenditure as well. Physics. Go figure!

Posted by Chefelf @ 05/08/2003 02:53 PM EST

It's all made up, you know; a core tenant of reality is that, if you keep excruciatingly examining it, it will throw up little minutia at you to give you something to look at, but it's not there if you're not focusing on it...so, stop ruining it for the rest of us!

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