Cycling – Dumb Stuff I Do

It was hot, 94°F, and no complaint from me. I’d been outside all day. I’d run, shot for 2 hours, dug up 15 Lenton Rose bushes at one of my daughter’s homes, loaded them into my truck, then replanted them at our home. I’d planted Ivy, had a nice lunch, took a 30-minute break and was heading out for a bike ride before afternoon archery practice.

Because it was hot (and I was wiped) I had planted a nice easy ride. When I grabbed a kit for the ride I’d pulled out an old Vapotherm jersey. The jersey is about 12 years old. Vapotherm is a medical device company that makes a product to help people breathe. It was a total random thing grabbing the jersey. It could have been any number of other jerseys. At any rate I wore it.

On the ride I thought it might be cool to send a picture of the old jersey to friends that had also ridden wearing a similar jersey a decade or so ago. I slowed down, coasted, and tried to take a selfie of the jersey. The result of that is shown here.

While doing so a “hot shot” on his bike zoomed past me. I was maybe coasting at 7 mph. He was cruising at around 20 mph. He said a cocky, “Hello” and didn’t slow down. No problem except for the cocky tone in his voice.

I could have let is pass. I knew what was going through my head was going to hurt – me. I decided it was going to be worth the pain.

Putting my phone back into my jersey pocket I put some power on and chased the hotshot down. Now, I didn’t exactly catch him. I didn’t want to be any closer than about 5 to 10 yards. Just close enough that he would know I was back there.

He appeared to be a competitive cyclist as evidence by his shaved legs and cocky attitude. Going through his ears was now the sound of another cyclist behind him but not on his wheel. He can do a few things: 1) keep the same pace, 2) speed up and see if the can get rid of the bothersome unknown rider, or 3) slow down and see if the rider in the back could be a new friend with whom to train. The latter is the choice of a gentleman. He chose the option number two. I’d suspected that would be his decision. This is the part I knew would hurt.

As he increased his pace I hung just behind him at a 5 – 10 yard gap. If I got closer than 5 yards I’d coast. Coasting on a nice bike makes a distinct sound and can be heard from a short distance. The sound is so distinct that unless the cyclist was deaf he knew that someone was behind him, not drafting, but coasting. This happened when we came off a downhill and began the uphill or when I inadvertently got too close.

What I wanted to do was present the image of an old fellow out for a leisurely ride that just happened to be riding the same direction as the puffed-up fellow. I also knew if the guy really was in shape I’d only be able to keep this up for a few miles.

Actually, he was really, really good. His leg spin was flawless; he was smooth and not even a tad squirrely on his bike. After five miles I thought that maybe I’d ride beside him and introduce myself. I didn’t. I was a little embarrassed. I kept my distance.

I wasn’t too sure where we were and I knew now I had a pretty long ride home. He’s made a turn off my normal route. I’m still learning the back roads here.

Eventually, I pulled off onto a road that I hoped would put me on a path home. I’d been playing this game for six miles. I wasn’t hurting as much as I thought I’d be by this point. However, I was hurting. The guy did turn out to be a good rider, held a steady pace, and would have been easy to ride with. I regret not introducing myself. I lost a potential person to train with. But, the game was fun. (At least in my head)

Nope, Not for Me.

I received this email from a “Friend.” I dug into the program offered and sent a response. It is likely he just took a company produced marketing piece, added his name and email then sent it to his entire email list. It is this type of “Friend” marketing that pisses me off.

The email:

“David,

I hope all is well with you and your family. With the New Year fast approaching, many of us always have the intention to get healthier as the New Year approaches. I wanted to drop a note to see if you or someone you may know would be interested in learning about an Optimal Health Program that my wife and I recently discovered.  This program is a “Life Style Program – NOT a DIET” which teaches us how to create “Habits of Health” which leads to Lifelong Transformation and ultimately reaching and maintaining each individuals “Optimal Health” for their age.  My wife has been on the program a little over a year and has lost 85 pounds and off her medications and I recently started a few months ago and already down 30 pounds and come off my daily inhalers for my asthma.   My wife and I have been so inspired on how this program has changed our lives that we are now paying it forward and helping others do the same.  We both have our Certification as Health Coaches and our services are absolutely free with this program.  Our program has daily support, an amazing community of like-minded people, proven nutrition, is simple and convenient and is backed by over 20,000 physicians.”

My response:

Hi XXXXX,

Amazingly, I remain alive and well without supplement, pharmaceutical or program enrollment. Certainly, at 62, according to important television commercials I should have high blood pressure, an irregular heartbeat and a flaccid penis. None of those maladies concern me. Additionally, I don’t have diabetes, memory loss, balding, skin lesions, bladder control issues, back pain, headaches, excessive stinky gas, heart burn, asthma, COPD, toe nail fungus, athletes food, foul breath, bad teeth, gum rot, need for eye glasses, point pain or trouble either taking a shit or not being able to contain my shit.

Against all convention I am healthy and as a rule get a good night’s sleep without the use of a CPAP machine, nasal strip, special doctor recommended pillow, or medically developed mouth guard.

As far as losing weight, dropping 30 pounds might put me in a coma or at least earn me a role acting as a survivor of a WWII concentration camp.  Should my wife drop 85 pounds, well that would mean a loss of 77% of her entire body.  She too remains a constant irritant to the dietary supplement, quasi-medical businesses and drug industry that as yet do not have a pill or program for her current state of health.

Surely, sooner or later there will be a much-needed pill for healthy individuals and another non-FDA reviewed annuity will be born.  I think Big-Pharma is working on a sugar pill for healthy people. The pill will do nothing – the common impact of most supplements and programs on our general population. That pill will be entirely a social grace. As such, healthy people can socially needlessly pop a pill like the bulk of supplement/program consumers. The placebo pill once consumed can then be both safe and effectively voided in order to circumvent rumors or questions as to why the otherwise healthy person is not eating a supplement or drug.

While I congratulate you and your wife on earning a “Certification as Health Coaches” I feel confident my doctorate is more comprehensive. Good luck with your endeavor. It isn’t for me. Don’t let that discourage you. As H. L. Mencken said, “Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people.”

But, thanks for asking.