Speed Freaks

3 Jul

As I type these words there is a cool wind that rushes past me at regular, seventy second intervals. It’s a welcome punctuation on a scorching summer day in downtown Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. Such predictability is man made of course and in this case it’s man powered.

A pack of one-hundred cyclists blasting past at 30 MPH, wheel-to-wheel in a ninety minute battle, ten feet in front of my iPad screen is an exhilarating way to compose a post. Swatches of spandex color blurs into undulating graffiti on the brick main-street businesses. It’s almost beautiful. Wait, did I just type that out-loud?? *sputtering* I mean the color blur, not the spandex. Yeah.

Real Men Wear Spandex?

It feels so wrong to even consider it, but then they were flying at 30 MPH for an hour and a half. That’s crazy awesome. Why then is spandex any worse than really short running shorts? It just is. So there.

If runners look weird, bikers look like freakish aliens out there. They look so weird in fact in their racing garb that we assume they are uber-fit, super-humans and leave them alone. Somehow in their over-the-top oddity they manage to circumvent criticism.

Runners don’t have it so well. We have to really work at looking freaky weird enough to avoid scorn. Why? Because everyone runs. A normal person throws on a pair of sweats or knee length gym shorts and runs around the neighborhood with their iPod. He does not don singlet and short-shorts and vibram five-finger toe-shoes. That would be weird. That would be me.

The Shocking Truth

I wear a Timex running visor when I run. Okay, that’s not shocking, but wearing it has little to do with shielding my eyes or having a sweat band. In fact, wearing the visor makes my head sweat a lot more. No, I wear the visor because it makes me look like I know what I’m doing. People look at a guy with sleek shades and a Timex visor and assume he’s fast. Heck yeah buddy I’m fast. Would I have a Timex visor if I wasn’t??

When I wear my running Camelbak (which I do actually love and serves a purpose other than street-cred) people know I’m going long. When they assume you’re a super-human athlete, they give you more grace for your ridiculous get-up. You become so strange to the general population that they don’t even know how to make fun of you. “Hey man, um, your shorts are short.” Ouch, that hurt. “Run Forrest, run!” Wow. That’s original. That Timex visor is like a helmet that shields me from “drive-by jerks.”

Take it from the Freaks

Our cyclist friends are on to something. I’m not advising that us runners move to their alien planet, but maybe we should shop at their martian outlet mall. Let go of your sense of dignity and you’ll find yourself above reproach. There’s the sagacious nugget of truth for you in my inane banter. That’s the real Timex criticism helm I wear.

3 Responses to “Speed Freaks”

  1. Benjamin C. Stegeman July 5, 2012 at 6:01 am #

    This one is funny… I like it. But the only thing I would like to point out is that there is plenty of runners that wear spandex, especially when it gets cold. I wear spandex when I bike, but I wear it under my shorts, unless it is winter and then from time to time you will see me with nothing but my insulated Pearl Izumi spandex and a super tight wind proof yet breathable (that still seems like an oxy-moron to me) jacket on. And of course a micro fleece mask and ski googles. I always feel like a crime fighting ninja with super human abilities of awesomeness pouring out of me. Keep it up buddy and I will keep reading.

    • Brandon July 6, 2012 at 12:00 am #

      I know, I know. I was trying to fly under the radar waiting for someone to call me out on the running tights. One can get away with things in winter though right? I type these words as a hypocrite that is perilously close to buying my first speedo.

      • Benjamin C. Stegeman July 6, 2012 at 2:05 am #

        Hahahahahaha… Busted!

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