Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Childhood Innocence is a Wonderful Thing. Don't Ruin It.

I've told the story here before of the amazing compliments I've received while riding my bike.

There have been other compliments received that happened away from my bike, but I still believe they came as a result of the physical "upgrades" due to bicycling 25,500 miles in the past three years (as of October 12th -- an anniversary I won't ever forget).

Last week, my youngest son was at a tennis tournament, and a mother of one of my son's teammates saw me cheering my son and asked me if I was his brother. Now granted, something like that says as much about her as it does about me. But I choose to focus on the "me" part.

But what happened today was a horse of a different color. Not so much of a compliment, I'm pretty sure.

I was in the midst of a 24-mile time trial ride -- one where I pretty much peg my exertion level right at the edge of sustainable (AKA the "lactic threshold") and keep it there for over an hour. The only stop I made during this entire time trial was at an intersection and red light. Stopped next to me was a little old white beater car with a woman driving, a man in the passenger seat, and three young boys in the back seat. I stood there waiting for the light to change and noticed the three boys looking at me. Wide-eyed curiosity. I smiled at them and tried to look tough.

When the light turned green, I took off, standing on my pedals and accelerating quickly to 23 mph. As the car passed me, the man yelled out the passenger window, "Faggot!"

I was completely dumbfounded. It was the first time ever that I had been insulted or verbally accosted on my bike in Fort Collins. Now Loveland to the south and Laramie, Wyoming to the north are different stories. But never Fort Collins.

Needless to say, the pace of my time trial became a bit faster and more furious.

For the ignorant redneck with the three pitiable boys in his care, all I can offer are two fabulous divas: Streisand and Garland...


Blogger Kin said...

Get happy Howard, happy days are here again. I hate you for being such a good cyclist. ;)

(Actually I'm very happy that you were there when I reached the Mt. Evans summit and won't ever forget that.)

4:23 PM, October 01, 2008  
Blogger Pansy Palmetto said...

Dear Mr. You So Wish It Was All About You:

He was just a Noo Yawkah saying "fuggetit" when his kids asked if him if he could beat you in a bicycle race. And probably you should stop blowing kisses when you put on your "look tough" face.

1:53 PM, October 09, 2008  

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