Biker Paul

Biker Paul

Tour de fat ass

This morning I was remembering a morning in late October of 1984 when I was training for the Honolulu marathon.

On the morning in question, I was out for my normal training run and had stopped for water in the little park along Kahala Avenue where it skirts Diamondhead. I was considering which of two alternate routes to take from that point, adding up the miles in my head, and realized that either route would be about 13½ miles. At that moment, I had an absolute epiphany — my normal training run was a half-marathon! At that instant I knew that I would be able to finish easily the Honolulu marathon that December. I was supremely confident and self-assured.

And so it was. I did complete the marathon easily. I was a marathoner!

What prompted that memory this morning was the complete antithesis of that feeling. My car needed to go in for repairs and last night I had the bright idea that I would take along my new bike and ride it home, rather than wait for a ride back on the dealer's shuttle. After all, I thought, it's less than seven miles; surely I can bike that far!

And so I could. But it wasn't pretty! It's not that I was huffing and puffing or anything like that. But there were two clues that this was most definitely unwonted exercise. First, I found myself downshifting for the most ridiculously gentle slopes as my legs reminded me that they had aged considerably since that glorious morning in 1984. Second, there was that burning butt sensation to remind me that a bicycle seat is no Barcalounger.

Michelin Paul

I had made brave statements a year ago about getting a bike, but didn't follow through. However, I was finally forced to face the reality that without a regular exercise program, I was in dire danger of developing the body of the Michelin tire man. So, I went off to the bicycle shop and laid down my credit card.

Trek Navigator 200 Trek Navigator

My bike is a ™ that promises "comfort everywhere you touch the bike." It has ever so many gears (24, they say). It's similar to a mountain bike except that the handlebars are raised so one rides fairly upright. However, I must say that despite my ample padding and the padding on the seat, the promise of comfort everywhere I touch the bike was not fulfilled on this morning's ride. Perhaps it is my ample padding that is the problem.

The question is, when they call to say my car is ready, will I summon the shuttle, or will I cowboy-up and bike back to Cathedral City?

Yesss! I have been given a reprieve: the dealer doesn't have the right parts in stock so my car won't be ready until tomorrow. I have an additional 24 hours to summon up fortitude for the return trip!