This year, I will be doing “something new.” I have chosen a “theme.” I will be blogging about biking adventures. This will include riding tales, travel, stories, absurdity, insanity, adventure, and hopefully a little humor and nonsense mixed in; my favorite topics.
By Zulu Delta
Like many cyclists, I have a core group of friends I ride with. We ride together a lot, we have a lot of fun, and a lot of laughs, but let’s be honest; some of them are “Cement Heads.”
What’s that you say? Allow me to explain………
Cement Head Number One.
Years ago, one day, my friend “Gus” and I were riding in Boston’s Hub on Wheels; maybe the greatest organized city ride-EVER! It was 30 miles long; the option between 10 and 50-mile loops. Maybe that doesn’t seem long for many experienced bike riders, but speaking from someone who didn’t own a bike until he was 36 years old, and this was the very first “organized ride” that I had EVER joined in on, this was a big deal.
A little more than half into the ride, I was having the time of my life even though my legs were a little wobbly from the steep hill climbs, despite having done the best I could to get into “bike shape.” I remember the exact place. I was climbing up Ashmont Steet. Not terribly tough, but any hill to a “new” rider is challenging. Just as we were about to pass Train Street; where my cousins and Aunt Ann lived, I can remember thinking how relieved I was that we would not climb up Train Street; floating back to my youthful mind, that hill was akin to Mt. Everest!
With my head down in deep climbing concentration, I continued to peddle my new Schwinn hybrid bike. I heard some grunting to my right. I looked up and saw Gus pedaling so hard and slow, that he was on the verge of falling over on his bike. This was also Gus’s first organized bike ride.
The woman to his right noticed the same thing. She looked down at the gear set on his borrowed mountain bike, and then back up to his face. “You know,” she said very kindly, “you can shift to a lower gear and this hill will be a lot easier?” “NO!” he said. “No,” he said again, as his thighs and knees where on the verge of an “anatomical super-nova.” ” I like to keep the bike in the hardest gears for the entire ride; that way I get a better work out!” he said.
Instantly, a “Cement Head” was born.
I will never forget the look of disbelief, and side to side silent head shaking as the woman powered up her bike and left us in the proverbial cloud of dust.
Gus and I just burst into tears laughing so hard.
We’re still laughing.
Cement head is what I called myself when I had sinus infections!
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Well, that was kind of cement-heady of him. Lower gear! Why make life so difficult?!
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Low gear is heaven on a hill!