Monday, August 3, 2009

The Gods Must Be Angry

Not sure what I've done this year to infuriate the pantheon of deities who overlook athletics, but my punishments never seem to cease. Call me Prometheus.

So, I still can't run, not at all. Last time I tried, my piriformis went on strike, and convinced all of its neighboring muscles to join the picket line. Traitors!

This leaves me limited to cycling, which isn't a bad endeavor, really. Except that cycling in NYC is bit like living in a really bad video game (credit for this concept goes to an old friend and cyclist, John Barrett). At the controls of your 15 pound pedaled steed, you do your best to remain upright (and alive) as you dodge pot holes, taxis, buses, kids on scooters, parked car doors opening into your path, manhole covers, construction sites, garbage, broken glass, brain-dead pedestrians, zombie joggers with iPod headphones blaring who never look before turning, overly-entitled dog-walkers wearing their perpetual scowls (what is it that makes dog owners in NYC so on-edge all of the time?), take out delivery guys on rusty old bikes going the wrong way, homeless crazies who toss things at you, cops, firemen, pigeons, squirrels, puddles, horse carriages, cars, tourists, other cyclists, and ill-timed stoplights. Whew!

Now, even if you can put yourself on hyper-alert and manage to enjoy a ride with all of that chaos going on around you, cycling offers one more challenge: weather.

I can *run* in any kind of weather, believe me. Nothing ever stops me. They say when it comes to running, there is no such thing as bad weather, just choosing the wrong gear. But cycling in the rain is akin to being blasted with a fire hose, from a polluted water hydrant. I swear, I would get *less* wet if I just jumped into a swimming pool.

Seems every single time I gear up for a long-ish ride this summer, the clouds immediately roll in, the thunder peals, and the rain pummels me from above. Not to complain, but come on! Can't I just have one or two convenient hours in the sun now and then?

I would throw myself on the proverbial ground and beg mercy from those mighty immortals who have deemed this the year to spoil my every attempt at running and to drench me on every bike ride ... but I predict they'd just make it rain (or maybe hail) on me while I was prone before them, and enjoy another chuckle at my expense.

Anybody have a dry helmet I can borrow?

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