Keeping track of mileage is a pretty good motivator. So is having a specific goal. For both these reasons (well, okay, and because I am an addict and totally incapable of stopping), I've been riding a fair amount (59.79 miles this week, to be precise: if you're a Real Cyclist (tm), please don't laugh too hard). Moreover, I've been riding hills.
I'm going to be honest: I'm not a big fan of the hills. It's not that the suffering part of it bothers me. It's that I'm still getting back in trim, and still not all that great a cyclist (though I like to think that what I lack in competence I make up in style). I'm a bit self-conscious about ... well, basically everything, and thus constantly aware that at any moment a Competent Real Cyclist (tm) could come spinning up the hill and Judge me.
Admittedly, I probably deserve whatever Judgment I get. That being said, however, I do fear that one day I'll be happily stuffing my brain with bicycly goodness at Bikeforums.net and will see a post titled, "OMG Total Moron on a Green GT Mashing Gears Up Baringer Hill MOST HILARIOUS VIDEO EVAR," with video of myself doing the same, and won't have the balls to say, "Well, I wasn't mashing gears before I accidentally triggered my gripshift," because the only sensible reply would be, "How is accidentally triggering your gripshift supposed to be a defense?! How is even having gripshift not an automatic conviction, here?!*"
It doesn't help that inevitably the Real Cyclists (tm) who spin by me never do so at the bottom or the middle of the hill. Nooo, it's always at the top, when I'm puffing like a freight train (though that's steadily getting better). It's like they lie in wait in the woods just so they can make me look bad.
Is it possible to lay hands on a jersey that says, "I HAVE ASTHMA SO STFU!" or maybe "ONLY GOD CAN JDGE ME!" on the back in 172-point Garamond?
Actually, I'm not sure my back is that big. I might have to get it on the seat of my shorts instead.
*In case you're wondering, 'It came with the bike' is also not a valid defense. Real Cyclists (tm) can either replace the bits they don't like, or pay someone else to do it. I am not presently qualified to replace my gripshift system (though I plan to become so very soon), nor do I have the money to pay someone else to do it right now (turtlequarium takes precedence, and will cost more than I care to admit).