Riding with skinny people

Posted by SuperClydesdale on April 11, 2011 under Commentary | Be the First to Comment

I was riding last week on one of those after hours rides, where people with lives (aka jobs, wives, kids) fit in a ride after work.    Actually “wives” implies a plural – multiple wives – and while that does, at times, sound spectacular, it’s just the way that sentence worked out.   Just for the (official) record:  I do not have more than one wife.


This ride was kick ass.   It was a “poach” of a horse trail, which is to say that I was riding on a trail where bikes are not allowed.   This concept of riding on horse trails will be the topic of another article, entitled “riding on great trails that nobody ever uses and are going to waste.”

It was a day in the last grasp of winter.   Earlier in the week, we were in the high 70’s, this day was low 50’s.   It looked like it could rain, so both my friend and I packed arm warmers, just in case it started raining or something.   He also brought his knee warmers along.

The trail was not terribly technical, other than the occasional steep-climb-after-sharp-blind-curve phenomenon.   But, the pace was fast, and I was gasping for air at times.   I’m still in an early season level of fitness, and riding with a bean pole of a guy.  To protect his manhood, let me call him “Brutus.”   It’s sort of like naming a Chihuahua “Leviathan” or something, but let’s keep it there to protect the innocent.

Being early spring, the poison oak is in full bloom, and at times encroached on the trail to the point that there was little chance of avoiding it.  So, at one of the breaks, Brutus declares that he is going to put on his arm and knee warmers – not so much for the cold, but as a barrier to the poison oak.

I don’t have that luxury.   I don’t have a problem staying warm.   Being of manly stature, I have well warmed up at this point, and in fact I’m sweating.   Arm warmers to me would be miserable.   I’ll take my chances on the poison oak.

Brutus is reasonably fit, but rail thin.  And a vegetarian.  Not manly traits, but he’s a pretty good rider and a great guy, so I am willing to be seen with him.  Plus, he’s English, and his accent is amusing and makes him sound smart, so the total package works.

The horse trail is about 6 miles, out and back for a total of 12 miles.   It’s not long, but there’s a lot of sudden climbs and technical parts that, at speed, will get your heart racing and your lungs heaving.   Brutus and I stopped several times along the way just to keep from exploding.   Hey, it’s early season, and we were at “race pace.”

At one point after a steep climb and some technical bits, we stop to catch our breath.   Brutus is fiddling around with his knee warmer.  Something doesn’t feel right.

Brutus takes off his left knee warmer and notices that something is amiss.  He’s inadvertently been wearing arm warmer on his leg!

I was stunned.  I didn’t know what to say.   I was laughing, naturally, but yet couldn’t really express my incredulity at the situation.    There were so many things I could have said at that moment – a number of which would have challenged our friendship.

I mean…

What the…

I still can’t believe it.   My arm warmers wouldn’t even fit over my calf — -probably not even my foot — in addition to my other body parts (oh, yeah…), my feet are man-sized as well.

While gazing there at him switching his warmers around, he could not help be see that I was amused by his revelation (not to mention somewhat puzzled that he would even admit the faux pas – I mean, if I were him, I would have disappeared into the brush for a “bathroom break,” then come back as if nothing had ever happened).   To add to my amusement, he volunteered that he had inadvertently put on his wife’s pants a few days prior!

I left that one alone.   It was too much.   I think I may have blacked out or something – I don’t remember the return trip to the car.

Brutus has no idea how much he is going to regret my knowledge of these events.

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