Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Throwback 2013

This is a little confusing... so bear with me.  One year ago I received an email from the nice folks at Blogger.  They told me that someone had flagged my blog and they decided I couldn't have it and they were taking it from me.  I went a little nuts, fired off several emails, and bitched about it to my husband. While fighting this battle I made another blog.  I would not be silenced.  So, APabstSmear2 was born.  There are only three posts as I was able to convince Blogger, in a relatively short time, that I would behave myself even though I didn't know what I did wrong and they couldn't tell me.  Crazy.

I was checking on it and noticed it still gets traffic.  Very cool.  I wanted to share a guest post written by THE Cory Redmond.  It's awesome.  Enjoy!

Lunatic on Wheels: The Story of a Princess Tomboy and Her Quest for Sanity and the Fountain of Youth
By Gory Dreadmond

When Sasha came to me and asked me if I would write about a piece about why a 40-year old woman rides her bike, I thought, "HECK YES!"
Writing and cycling!  Yays all around!

Then I thought...

Hmmmm...Why exactly DO I ride my bike?
I mean, I know I ride for the obvious benefits of fitness, health, and vanity, but did I have a deeper reason?
Not really.
I mean…YES!
Of course!
I ride my bike because I am an undiagnosed lunatic.
If I didn’t have bike riding as an outlet, I would lose my bleeping mind…cry a lot, eat my emotions, and possibly cause bodily damage to others.
I am forty (4-0) years old and started to feel really old and useless when I was 30 and pregnant.
In the middle of my pregnancy, I had an overwhelming urge to get back on the bike after a 16 or 17 year hiatus. 
I mean, I was never a bike racer or anything cool like that when I was a kid, but I rode everywhere and I rode long.

Once I became an adult, I was like those crabby-ass adults in the Frosted Mini-Wheats commercials…and I REALLY wanted to be the kid.
My then-husband took his Cannondale hybrid (He is 6’1” and I am 5’6” so that was a good option, yeah? No, it was not.) apart to get it ready for me to ride when the baby was born instead of getting my own bike that would actually fit and also be ride-able.  It stayed apart in pieces on the basement floor for another 18 months. I left.
I finally got back on the bike when I was 32; I felt 80.
My rather small A-cups were even saggy and my ass just sort of hung off my back and drooped to my leg tops.
(I paint a lovely picture, no?)

I wasn’t overweight at that time (though I had been many other times in my life), which is why the whole “ass situation” was even more disturbing. I always pretended like this did not bother me when in fact I was freaking right the fuck out.

I started riding and immediately, I became an asshole. 
I mean, it was pretty instantaneous as I rode my sweet assed 5-yr-old hand-me-down MTB around Forest Park like I was effing boss yelling , “LEFT!” and freaking the shit out of rollerbladers and baby-jogging mommies.
I was a dick. Actually, I was the second worst kind of dick (the worst being the garbage-dick variety. EWWWW!) because I didn’t even realize I was a dick. Yep; those are the second worst kinds of dicks. Believe that.

I eventually chilled the fuck out when I bought a road bike and got the hell out of the park.
That bike brought me back to my childhood and I would smile and giggle like a freak show as I rode along dodging giant SUV’s and soccer moms.
I became obsessed with riding.
It was all could talk about.

I felt exactly like those dudes who have a mid-life crisis and buy a canary yellow Corvette…except I was asshole enough to feel like my bean could give their tic-tac peens a run for the money.
(See what I mean? I am a dick. Still.)
When I was 36, I threw myself into cx racing and that was it.

Holy shit!
It was like being in Kindergarten AND in college at the same time!
I could play in mud (and it was encouraged) and they handed out cupcakes and booze!
If I would have discovered this when I was young, I wouldn’t have kids right now…
…or I would have 9 filthy kids because I would have been in a constant state of drunk and sugar-high and down for a party.
*shudders at thought*

Now that I am forty (4-fucking-zero), I have the wisdom/balance that I didn’t 
have a few years ago and have purchased a bike for everything (EVERYTHING) and have made them each into a “boyfriend”.

Once I noticed the (free) benefits to my ass from cycling (like tone and lift), I started to use different bikes to work out different body parts.
I still have not figured out how to get bigger boobies while riding, but at least with MTB there is a downhill and they fall forward and look bigger in the race photos.
I ride my cx bike when I want to party or I want to suffer.
I ride my MTB when I want to clear my head, be at peace, or suffer.
I ride my road bike when I want to zone out, it’s raining, my friends are being pussies, I am injured, the sun is not up, or I want to mentally suffer and put things in perspective.

My bikes are sexy and constant.
Because I can mix it up, I am never bored.
They keep me from buying sports cars, liposuction, Botox, and vibrators.
Riding is the single thing that I do that doesn’t make my kids roll their eyes at me like I don’t get it. I get it.

I feel sexy, happy, and strong on my bike.
That last bit is a huge deal to a paper-pushing Ops geek whose most exciting thing some days is when a balance sheet comes together perfectly or MS Vista does not crash.

Why do I ride my bike at 40?
I am a post-menopausal, hormonal nightmare with a full-time job, a college kid about to turn 21 and a 10-year-old female child hitting puberty, two dogs who constantly hump each other, and an ugly minnow that we hoped was a tadpole but isn’t.
Why wouldn’t I ride my bike?
The better question is, why AREN’T you riding yours?

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Spandex Hell

I went to the bike shop a while back.  Most days I love going to the bike shop.  This was NOT one of those days.  Walking in I see my friend Brad working behind the counter, immediately I felt at ease.  He was just the person for this task. Over the five years we have known one another we have had many great bike chats. Brad has taken great care of the hubby and I…especially at the last minute.  One year he redid my front brake cables while I waited in the shop, it was the day before leaving for the Dirty Kanza 200.  I told him I have an amazing opportunity, Sorry… I can’t tell you  yet, coming up and I need to represent in the womens PRO cut kit. The look on his face said it all.  He knew this was going to be a challenge.  He was going to have to fit a square in a circle. Impossible?!

As nicely as he could he explained the challenges I was facing.  In case you don’t know me…. I am not built for a PRO cut kit. I am not ever going to be described as long and lean.  I have curves and muscles.  I think I am built more like a rugby player or a small football player.  These are my observations:  I have wider shoulders than most women.  My arms are also larger.  In addition, I have more than an average amount of boobage  that needs to be contained. Add in a set of good sized legs,  true to my German heritage, and there is my recipe for disaster.  So now that you get the picture you can understand the situation poor Brad was in. 

Brad took the time to go through the racks of Womens apparel and patiently handed me jerseys to try on. There were no comparable bibs or shorts to try so I would need to go by the measuring tape, Fuck!  NOT the way I wanted to approach this but my only alternative.  My measurements don’t make any sense, at least not to me.  (Since I am worried about my thighs fitting I plan to include my measurement) I have to admit that I was really unhappy while trying these jerseys on.  In real life I wear smalls and mediums.  Having to try on size XL and L and then seeing how they fit was kind of humiliating, maybe not the correct word.  It has taken me years to shed my former FAT LIFE and this little shopping trip was bringing it all back. I know… calm down.  (This trip was supposed to be fun)

No offense fella...Not how I want to look

Brad also showed me the sizing manual for the Womens kits, however the sizing measurements are completely different from the Canari brand kit I would be ordering.  It was helpful to see the manual since I was unable to try any shorts/bibs. From start to finish Brad spent about 30 minutes with me.  I can’t tell you how much I appreciated that. 

Later that evening Jim came home and asked me how things went at the shop.  He found me in the closet starting to tear up.  I told him of the kit sizing and he just re-iterated what Brad said.  “You know honey…you are not built like MOST women”.  I know he was trying to be nice, but he should have stopped there.  He continued on saying, “you have arms and boobs and big legs…..”  I am aware, thanks Babe.  I have the same parts as everyone else just in different proportions.  Yea, I get it. I still don’t feel  much better as he hugs me. This sucks! Going through this for the second time today has me a bit emotional and I cry.  After several moments pass I stop and come to my senses. 

While this experience truly sucked I got through it. It was not really any different than going shopping for any other outfit to wear.  I am noticing I can no longer buy apparel at Target or Penneys.  Their clothing is not designed to fit my body.  What fits around the waist and hips will not fit around my legs.  Or it fits everywhere but the arms and chest. Be that as it may, I have become very secure with my body over the years. I like how things are shaping up, even as I am about to turn 45. I am constantly amazed what it allows me to accomplish.
I ended up settling on a size Large jersey.  The PRO cut stuff is pretty snug.   I could see my ribs.  Also any extra skin I have….. anywhere.  This kit is definitely going to make me more accountable this year.     I have an amazing opportunity, that I can’t tell you about yet, coming up and I need to represent in a Womens PRO cut kit.  Since the day I visited the bike shop I have been working my tail off in the gym Since the day of this trip I have been working my tail off in the gym.  I have incorporated even more cardio, more weights, and rowing.

I think I can make my square a circle in the next few months.  I believe.