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So many lawyers, so little time...

"The prospect of hanging focuses the mind wonderfully"--Samuel Johnson

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Location: Louisville, KY, United States

Gastroenterologist, cyclist, cellist, Christian, husband, father, grandfather.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Hammerheads and Nails

(The following is my latest attempt to gain acceptance with the local mountain biking community).

To hammer—(vi) to pedal as hard as you can for as long as you can.

Hammerhead—(n) one who hammers. Likes to vomit during or after riding.

“There are two types of people in this world: those who like to divide everyone in the world into two types, and those that don’t”. --ancient Jebusite saying.

The biking community likes to divide the world into two types of bikers; either you’re a serious biker who some day hopes to qualify for the national championships, or you ride a junker with coaster brakes and a little basket attached to your handlebars in which to carry your groceries on your jaunts to the local Save-a-Step.

This is too bad. There are a lot of bikers who would never be caught dead on a Huffy but just don’t think that riding until you puke is any fun.

I work everyday with lots of these riders. They decline my invitations to go biking with this universal response: “I was once invited on a ride and all the riders said they were going to ‘take it easy’, and then they sped off and left me all alone. It was humiliating, and I’ll never do it again.”

These folks have obviously never ridden with me, but I digress.

We need a group of riders who occupy the middle ground, who like to ride adventurously but don’t care if they finish in front of anyone else in the world. I’ve taken it upon myself to form such a group: the NAILS, a group of riders who are almost the exact opposite of the hammerheads. We are Non-Athletic Intelligent Lazy Slugs, and proud of it.

Not anyone can become a NAILS. The selection criteria are very strict. Below is a partial list of qualifications:

You might be a NAILS if:

--all your bike stuff, including the bike, costs less than $500.
--nothing you own is made of titanium.
--people talk to you about splines and gear ratios, and you stare blankly at them.
--someone asks you what kind of bike you own, and you reply “a red one”.
--the only race you’ve ever been in was to see who could get to the park bathroom first.
--you like to ride last so you can copy everyone else’s line.
--you approach a large hill and you look to see if there is a bike friendly bus-stop nearby.
--bike shoes strike you as being a huge waste of money.
--you have no idea what ‘periodization’ means.
--you’ve never used the terms ‘gnarly’, ‘shred’ or ‘rail’ in proper biking context.
--you use ‘Hammergel’ to lube your chain.
--you’ve owned clipless pedals for over six months and stopping your bike still fills your heart with terror.
--you wake up one Saturday morning, it is 68 degrees and sunny outside, the ground is dry and firm, the Wild calls to you by name, and… you brew some coffee, settle into your favorite chair, and read a book all morning.


Blogger Val said...

Send me a membership application please!! :-)

5:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for leaving out the part about your sad daughter trailing behind you on the trails. I was running though, where as you were on a bike. I don't think you can understand the pain of running those trails until you try it... I ran ten yesterday to redeem myself. :)

4:12 PM  
Blogger The Medicine Man said...

Your post reminded me of the apropos words of Robert Maynard Hutchins, American educator and prior president/chancellor of the University of Chicago, my alma mater:

"Whenever I get the urge to exercise, I lie down and wait for it to go away."


9:09 PM  

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