Fattening up for winter

Posted by SuperClydesdale on October 21, 2010 under Commentary | Be the First to Comment

The chill is in the air.  The days are getting shorter, the nights cooler.  These are the signs of the changing of the seasons.

I’m getting a taste of the pre-Christmas buzz by doing a bit of shopping for my cool-weather gear.  I bought some new arm warmers, and I’m on the lookout for some mountain bike pants that don’t fit like they came out of a can of nylon-colored spray paint.

There are other telltale signs of encroaching winter.  These signs are in numeric form.  The dial on my scale begins to show numbers that I haven’t seen since last fall.  Every day I write down a new number, thinking that perhaps it’s like a Ouija board with some message from beyond:   226, 227, 228, 229, 230, 231, 232, 233, 234, … Is it some sort of code?  What the hell do these numbers mean?

I found a numerology book and after many hours of research, I was able to decode this message:

Y – O – U – R – E – G – E- T – T – I – N – G  – F – A – T.

I just don’t get it.   I’m eating salads for lunch, getting plenty of exercise, drinking vast amounts of beer.   Nothing new – that’s my “performance diet.”  It’s the secret to my success.  I’m sure I’ll be approached to write a diet book at some point.  “Jack, how do you do it?”

And yet, despite sticking to my strict diet, the pounds are slowly layering  on.    I’m bulking up for winter.  This is a problem.   There’s something about spring that makes it easy to lose weight, and then there’s fall, where its virtually impossible to keep it off.   I must have Nordic blood in me.  Some part of my being is warning my body that I had better bulk up for the winter while the food is plentiful Pokies, lest I starve before spring.   In reality, it just means that I’m going to have to huff and puff to haul a fat ass up every hill.    Wait until Thanksgiving — I may not see my feet until spring.

As I ease into winter and start wishing for that first heavy storm that will drop a blanket of powder on the Sierra Nevada range, I’m ready.  I’m ready for the cold.  I’m ready for the storms.  More important, I’m ready for snowboarding.

One huge benefit of cycling is that it allows me to come into the winter in prime shape for snowboarding (albeit, a bit heavier than in the peak of summer).

For those of you that think us big guys descend fast on a bike, try a snowboard.   I feel like I’ve been transported to a Japanese hillside for the Onbashira festival.  The instant you relax the edge of the board, you shoot down the hill like Chevy Chase in the movie Vacation.  It’s like there’s a rocket strapped to your ass.  It’s comical how fast you go fast.

I’m also ready for the mud on my newfound love – the mountain bike.  Mountain biking in the summer offers many of the same sensations as snowboarding.  Now, I am excited to see how different riding through mud will be.   I’m concerned that 230+ pounds on my tires – even on a 29er – is going to leave me hip-deep in mud.     My buddies talk about sliding through the mud, almost like sledding.  I don’t know that a 230 pounder is going to make it through the mud pit.  I predict a lot of rapid decelerations, sucked to a stop by ever-deepening mud.  Glopping out of deep mud, hoping my shoes don’t get sucked off my feet.

But, I am excited by the challenge.

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