I like to ride in big gears. I recall doing this as far back as my first multi-geared bike as a kid. It's like weightlifting: you see the bar, a stack of metal discs nearby and one way or another, you & your friends end up puttin' them on all and seeing what comes of it. It's always been this way for me with bikes... I get on, I roll, and by the end of the block I've geared it down to its highest gear in no time at all.
And I usually just keep it there, unless I'm halfway up a hill steep enough that I'm beginning to roll backwards down it. Maybe it's a Boy/Guy thing... perhaps it's just an offshoot of always having to "try". Of course it could be as easy as the Time-Space continuum of 'Be careful or you'll shoot your eye out': whereby you have to keep pushing until the Universal RubberBand of "It's Your Turn" snaps back around on your arse and that's that. Dunno.
But I do know this... It, does snap back, eventually. And did for me.
I've noticed a lot more folks out-n-about riding lately, and of those folks many [lately] are in full-on kolorz: i.e. Team Kit [some local, most 'Net-Bought from & of their favorite team/teams/riders[?]... but in either/any case they are out and wearing those logos], and many of them are racy. They wanna go fast all the time. They are speedy quick, quickly speedy.
So far -with this climate of Fasteryness [my word, Google will net you nada]- I've been willingly coerced into two/2/to/too races. One netted me a flatted rear [but I was holding my own up until that flat even though I didn't have full USPS team kolorz on me... but I would seriously bet I was within mere feet of having my backside handed to me -had it not been for that pancaked rear flat- as we were about to embark on some serious inclined inclinations of the hilly sort]...
...and the other netted me a hyper-extended left knee. A few days back, while exiting the downtown PDX area and heading toward home, a Roadie with serious eyes for Man-Man came up from behind me. What followed was the usual, non-spoken, nudge/floor it/back-off/floor it, on again/off again game of 'wanna go??". And we went.
Between runners, walkers, joggers, baby strollers, commuters, bird poop, areas that smell of freshly sprayed cow manure [parts of the Eastside Esplanade reek to high hell of... well, one can't really candy coat it, Shite], the homeless & more... we went. And we kept going.
Never a word spoken. Only frowns, occasional grunts, always lots of serious intent written on two mugs, we went.
Pull ahead, gap opens, close it up, gap closes. Draft, pull, draft, pull... I think, looking back, we knew it would end at the tracks one stop past Spokane on the Corridor. But we never discussed it.
So it kept going, and I know he was as tired as me. And for what gain? To what effect? It was sublimely ridiculous and served zero purpose. But I think we were heeding our Testosterone, our inner-Caveman, our need to gage & monitor the current state of our "Me-ness".
What a moronic sight we must have made: me in a jacket, helmet w/mirror & lights, tights & knickers... him in a very expensive Giro helmet, racing shades, "Hammer Nutrition" jersey & shorts w/"Discovery Channel" tights underneath it all... about the only thing that united us: riding two-wheeled bikes and clipless shoes [but he got me there too, Sidi road shoes].
A 14 mile sprint, and I might be wrong on this, cannot be overly fun for even those with the advantage of Youth & Ultra-Fitness on their side. It can't be. It certainly wasn't for me... but then again, 'Sprint' is a relative term to those doing the sprinting and those watching the sprinting. My 'partner' in all this certainly wasn't wearing anything near enjoyment on his face either.
But we kept on.
So far, I'm only -really- dipping my big toe into Stupidity. The 10-Meter, full-on, belly-flop, comes about... right... Now.
Just past the drop on the Corridor, where you can go under the tracks into Oak's Bottom, my left knee, more specifically the outside & inside [not the front or rear of the knee] goes "Pop" and then "Ping". The 10% of my brain that isn't bathing in testosterone, endorphins and hair-covered hands, says "Whoa... bad. Stop. Now". The other 90% announces, "It was a stick, a piece of gravel, something on the asphalt... keep going sissy". So I went. I listened to the part that -also- responds with things like "No, I know that's a gas station right there, but I'm positive that if I get on that highway and drive east 20 miles we'll find the hotel. I know what I'm doing here, honey".
10%: 'This knee has a history, Einstein. It gave out before anything else gave out as you got big, then bigger, then biggest... every time you've had a knee issue, it's been this knee. You always have babied this knee, what are you doing here, Chief?'
90%: 'It was a stick or something'
10%: 'Amy's gonna be pissed. Not angry because it hurts and you hurt it... no, pissed because you're going to drive her batshit with nonstop worries about it, nonstop questions about it, nonstop "do you think? this/do you think? thats"... check up and ride home like a person that actually has learned something [anything?] in 45 years on this planet'
90%: 'You ain't Lance brother... but neither is this guy. You and Me, we can take him. Go fatboy, go'
10%: 'Why do I even bother with you?'
90%: 'Shut up man... go Mr. Tubby GO.'
10%: 'Hello Ice, Hello E.R., Hello Meds, Hello Amy'
90%: 'Steel against Carbon-The Grudge Match. Just keep going, it was a twig or something... I'm tellin' you man, just keep going'
10%: 'I guess no more rides for a while'
90%: 'There's only The Now'
And we arrived...
well, actually, I arrived. And then he arrived.
I waited for him on the tracks. About 8 seconds later he pulled up beside me. We both smiled. Long pulls on water bottles, a few 'Wows', a couple 'We were goings'... he said, "Great job! Man, I thought for sure I had you near the end" I said something like "I think I killed my knee, so unless you're injured or worse, you came out of this better than me". We shook hands.
I rode home wincing... at appx. 7mph.
Lesson ~finally~ Learned=
Pedal Lite/Spin Fast/Resistance Minimally.
[...and I never told Amy how it happened by the way, but she'll know soon enough]
Keep Ridin'... Always