On Tuesday, I woke up at a reasonable hour (6:45 AM) relative to the time I needed to be at work (8:00 AM), but somehow managed to take a bazillion years getting dressed and so forth.
I also blithely failed to acknowledge that the average temperature has, in the span of a couple of days, dropped from 90 to about 70, with morning temps in the 40s (all temperatures given in Fahrenheit, in this particular example, umm, err, because I'm an Amurkin?)— and by the time I stepped out the door and realized that merely adding socks and my rain jacket to my usual wardrobe would not actually suffice, it was too late to do anything about it. Besides, I didn't actually have any pants to speak of.
Rather, I didn't have any bike-friendly pants.
I do own a couple of trouser straps, and they might've come in handy if I had every gotten around to unpacking my laundry (um ... er ... oh, yeah, I kind of moved, for realz this time).
Thus, I spent the first three-quarters of my ride trying to find a way to fold my poor frozen fingers back into my gloves (ha!) and my knees, while they felt fine during the ride, took until roughly 3:30 PM to warm up to living-person temperatures.
As such, I decided that spending a little of my not-so-hard-earned money on some winter stuff might be a good idea.
This afternoon, I devoted an hour or so and around $30 to the acquisition of what one might call an abbreviated winter wardrobe — including a hat, two pairs of stretchy gloves to go under my cycling gloves, a pair of 'jogging tights' which are basically exactly like cycling tights only they cost $12 instead of $120, an orange hoodie, and, yes, I admit it, a pair of what can only be described as 'farking hipster pants' ... though I'm sure there are those of us who prefer adjectives stronger than 'farking' be coupled with the word 'hipster.'
Yes, it's true: I have at last succumbed to the pressures of natural selection and acquired a pair of skin-tight pants with pockets and a zip fly — not so much because I desire to be a hipster — I don't — but because they are fuzzy on the inside, will keep my knees warm on the way to work (and in the shop), and will let me carry my wallet in their pockets. At least, they will if I actually remember to bring it with me. Awesome.
They're also black. Black is slimming. I can't say I thought I was slim enough for farking hipster pants, but these actually look pretty sharp ... so I'm pretty happy about that.
Sadly, I seem to be slowly transforming into one of those people who wear tight clothes. I suppose this would be more of a problem if I was concerned with folks questioning my sexuality. Since I assume (sometimes incorrectly) that everyone already knows I'm gay, I'm really not worried about it.
Working in a bike shop has made me rather more strikingly aware of the sort of bizarro-world dynamics of the cycling community: only in the Cycling Zone does one generally encounter bearded, masculine men who are already slimmer than average guys and are still concerned about trimming off that last 10 or 15 pounds (actually, come to think of it, one also encounters this sort of thing in the world of Muay Thai, but not so much with the beards). Only in the Cycling Zone do people grasp how I can look at myself — a small-boned guy who wears a size 32 waist — and think, "Man, I'm fat." (Unfortunately, because of my build, that is somewhat true: at my 'fighting weight,' I wear a size 28, without actually being underweight — small bones FTW.)
Speaking of fat cyclists, good ol' Elden recently moved all his old posts to his current server, which is really neat for those of us who haven't been following him all that long (like me). This was how I learned that our favorite Fatty is actually shorter than I am (by about an inch) and that as such I should feel pretty okay about my prospects as a racer at 155 pounds (which isn't to say I've whittled myself down to 155 yet, but I'm well on my way).
Not to say I expect to win races, precisely (aside: how many sports are there out there where the vast majority of competitors totally fantasize about winning but have absolutely no expectations of actually ever doing so?) — well, maybe a couple of collegiate D-level races, if I ever actually get the team going at IUS — but I would like to look less fat relative to the other guys who are also busy losing :) Also, I have definitely noticed that more fat I trim off, the better my body works. This should not surprise me, because I was a skinny and very athletic kid, and was actually quite slim for most of my life, and aced anatomy and physiology my first year in college — but it does.
By the bye — Fatty is also giving away Levi Leipheimer's bike at the moment, so if you want to join in his fight against cancer, now seems like a good time. Not that there's a bad time for that.
Well, since I have now spent this entire post more or less obsessing about my weight, I'm going to go stand on the scale and cry. No, just kidding. I'm going to avoid the scale entirely, because I don't want to be That Guy.
In other news, I promise I will get back to logging mileage shortly. I finished well over 400 miles for September, only to be shown up by an 82-year-old lady (no lie!) who came into the shop. After she left, our primo wrench mentioned in passing that she put 571 miles on her bike last month!
That's who I wanna be when I'm 82.
Um, minus the lady part.