August 04, 2002

I've lost my riding self. Just went for a 20-something mile ride -- headed around the corner, down Broadway, across the Brooklyn Bridge (again stopping in the middle for a drink and to tip my helmet at the space the Towers once occupied), and met Robert at Prospect Park. He'd finished six laps before I got there and truth be told, my legs felt like jelly, my lungs felt like they'd shrunk, and the humidity made me feel as though I was melting. Though the muscles are there, the strength is not -- neither is my breathing pattern, and I just can't seem to get into my riding groove. It's humbling to be passed by a woman obviously older than me, in leather pumps, on her hybrid bike sans helmet, and carrying a knapsack while I'm decked out in my Sidi shoes and 747 Shimano SPD pedals, 21 gears and the works. Okay, so I'm not used to riding with this extra 12 lbs. or so (I last weighed in at around 99 or 100, which is a huge jump from my 87 a year ago), and it's been 2 years since I've done a century (that's a 100-mile ride for you non-riding folks) and it's super humid in the city today. So much so, that the thought seeing even LANCE ARMSTRONG racing downtown in a 100K criterium wasn't enough to get me off the air conditioned train (I did not ride back from Brooklyn). He must be bored to death riding in this crappy weather doing 50 laps of a miserable 2K stretch along the Financial District's Water Street after the rolling vineyards in France. He's a pro racer, though, and as hard as his job may be, it sure beats sitting in a cubicle.

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