Oh yeah. You read that right. Surly's been workin' it somethin' fierce for the last few weeks. In case you've not been paying attention you can catch-up by reading my previous post. We'll wait for you. (I'm lying I don't have the patience for your lazy ass.)
So here's the short of it. I'm raising money for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society through their Team in Training Program. I'm part of a cycling team that will be doing a 100 mile ride around Lake Tahoe in June. That's a 100 miles in one day. I will pause while you gasp in wonder at my awesomeness and sheer determination. Done.
Anywho... I was not a cyclist before this really. Not that I'm much of one now, but I'm learnin', and because I'm such a giver, I'm sharing with you what I've learned. This week I learned that cycling is all about my ass. It is an ass-centric sport.
First it starts off with those shorts. I mean seriously, they only look that good on models. On me, it's like your seeing your aunt in a girdle during your formative years. It's scarring for everyone involved. These are a necessary evil. Trust me, you can't ride a bike in a thong. Then there's all that padding in the crotch that reminds me of the super thick maxi-pads they used to sell when I was young. Now I have an inkling what it's going to be like when I have to wear adult diapers. I just have to remember not to wet my pants when I ride. (Note to my coach, add more bathroom breaks to the route, please.)
Now since these rides take several hours, we often have to dress in layers. Only you can't really layer your outfit with a tank top, shirt, sweater, and jacket, because when you take them off you have no where to put them. Being a clever breed, cycling enthusiasts have come up with tear away clothes. Okay, so they didn't come up with the concept, strippers did, but as you'll come to see, strippin' and cycling have a lot in common. They make arm and leg warmers that you can strip off as the day or your body warms up. Think Chippendales sans the bow tie. Word to the beginner, stop your bike and get off to remove these items, but do it with flair and a flourish so that everyone knows you're getting naked.
When you're riding as part of a team, you need to learn all kinds of fancy hand signals to let the person riding behind you know what you're up to. If you're slowing down you shout "slowing!" and wiggle your fingers behind your back like a 14 year old boy trying to cop a feel. If you're passing a really big hole you shout "really big hole!" and point vehemently. It takes a little while to learn to let go of the handlebars that you are clutching for dear life, much like a stripper clings to a pole when she's upside down and wrapped around it like a snake, so that you can wave, point, and wiggle.
There's all kinds of science to riding a bike, and it seems that the person in front is basically in charge of pulling the rest of the group forward. Since this position can get tiring, you need to swap places regularly with the other members of your group. This is called pace lining, and requires it's own special hand signal when your switching places. And can you guess what that signal is? Ass slappin'! Oh yeah. The rider behind you, who has spent the better part of the ride staring at your Lycra clad ass is waiting with a certain amount of anticipation to see you reach around and spank yourself to let them know it's their turn. First time I did this my coach, a nice and gentle deacon in the Catholic church, commented on the audible slapping sound I made; and in true Surly style I smarted off with "Well I wanted a sport that involved ass slappin'. It was either cyclin' or strippin'." I should probably get in a couple of acts of contrition this week to make up for that.
I bet you're sayin' to yourself right about now "Wow, that Surly girl sure makes cycling sound all sexy! I wish I could shove a couple of dollars in her bike shorts!" Well, guess what! You can! I'm taking donations on my fundraising page, and for donations of $500 or more I'll send you an autographed photo of me slappin' my ass in my bike shorts. What more could you ask for?