Last Saturday was 46 miles in 4.5 hours (not including breaks) from REI over the Burke Gilman to Montlake and then back the same way. Getting up at 6AM to meet your bike cohorts is difficult, realizing it’s actually 5am because your supposed 7am meeting time is 7am on the day the time changes — that’s kinda brutal. So as the sun poked out above the leafless trees in the RTC parking lot, the three of us took off.
It could have been the cold.
It could have been the fog.
It could have been the sunnyness of the day.
I personally suspect it was because we all have twisted senses of humor.
It started with Duncan talking about his screw. For his cleat. You see, clippie shoes (they are actually called clipless systems, riddle me that?) have screws that attach them to your shoe. There are usually at least 2 and sometimes 3, and they keep the clip in place so when you shift your foot to the side it takes the cleat with it and separate it from your pedal resulting in your ability to keep yourself from going bonk.
At any rate, Duncan was missing a screw. He talked a great deal about his missing screw, and then we started joking about how he should get a screw by some random shop along the road.
Then there was the discussion of which person had the bigger cog. Your cog size, you see, determines how far a rotation can go on your bike. More cogs = more power, right? Duncan and Bryce got into it but apparently Duncan’s cog is bigger. I did not wish to compare my cogs, as I was busy dealing with cycling legwarmers.
These are not the 1980’s flashdance legwarmers: they are not soft, they are not scrunched, they are not hot pink. They are black lycra and quite tight, and look a bit like they should be kept on you with a garter belt. Verily, they look like cycling fetishwear, and consequently I spent an inordinate amount of time adjusting them as we cycled along. Ever try to look professional while pulling up lycra legwarmers already wearing an impossibly curve-hugging costume? No, I didn’t think so. The jokes trended back toward my bike S&M gear (complete with full length black gloves) and the cogs were momentarily forgotten.
Until I pointed out I was trying to match them stroke for stroke. You see, when Bryce and Duncan take off, they *take off*. Like my new nickname is Waldo and I’m getting a red and white striped bike shirt. And so I played with my gears and attempted to match theirs, and then attempted to match pedal rotation frequency (e.g., stroke). And even though I was attempting to do that, I was not succeeding. So I whined about it at the next break.
Whining to two men who were comparing cog sizes, and one of which talking of his needed screw, while adjusting my black lycra, was probably not the most prudent thing to do.
Fortunately, we found a local bike shop where Duncan got his screw. It was literally by the side of the road, rather quick, and very cheap. But it does the trick; he’s still satisfied with it, as far as I know.
The bike shop guys were alternately freaked out or laughing uncontrollably. We’re… not sure which.