My Rant – Part 2

…,and another thing –

what is the deal with the bicycle riders?  Here in Loma ‘Tofu’ they have bike lanes on most major streets (which I like) and plenty of bicyclists – whom I do not.  Would someone once and for all please explain to me why all bicyclists have to look like Lance Armstrong competing in the Tour de France?  What is up with the spandex and is that absolutely necessary to ride a bike?  Can I not get just as good a workout wearing a t-shirt and shorts?  Someone please tell those middle-aged guys – they don’t look like Lance.  They’re are some bulges that would be better hidden under a loose t-shirt.  I’m just saying.  Please stop it – please!  Keep riding – that is great!  Just lose the stupid bike outfits.   What good is it to be less wind resistant if you are working out?  Is this a race?  Just stop it!!

One thing I know about is bicycles.  Mine was the bicycle generation – I mean who of my generation did not own or wish for a Schwinn “Sting-Ray”.  Then it was on to the “Varsity” 10-speeds – the original street bike.  I know bikes and I know I could ride with the best of them and would not be caught dead in spandex then and certainly not now.  I am tempted to go buy a Schwinn “Heavy-Duty” – one like I delivered newspapers with growing up – attach a newspaper bag to the handlebars and show up at the next bike club ride – wearing jeans, sweatshirt and a football helmet.  I have to wonder if they would even let me ride.  I can see them now kicking their $1,000.00 bikes into the highest gear and trying to lose the ‘weirdo’.

All this goes back to the fact that the fitness craze is really big business.  It is not enough to just ride a bike for fitness – you have to buy into the whole “package”.  You need the high-dollar two ounce bicycle, the proper uniform, a helmet made by NASA engineers, a stationary bike at home for the bad weather work-outs and all the other gadgets that can be wired to the high-tech, graphite frame.  You don’t just start riding the old bike in your garage – are you crazy?  Better take out a loan for a few large – you will need it to just get started properly.

Are you thinking about walking for fitness? – well you need these special Nike walking shoes, a membership at the health club that has the Gyro-7000 treadmill with heart monitor, EKG read-out, television and for an extra fifteen dollars a month – a personal trainer teaching you “proper” walking techniques since you have been doing it all wrong since you were two.  Then you may want to stop by the vitamin store and pick up the special “Walking” supplement – designed to give you stronger calf muscles.

I suppose fitness only works if you are doing it in the proper “style”.  We are first expected to be “consumers”.  Once we have bought into everything the fitness industry is selling – we either become too depressed from all the money we have shelled out to exercise or we neglect other parts of our lives because we have shelled out so much money that we feel we must exercise to get our money’s worth.

I had a great-grandmother who lived to be one hundred years old and she cooked with lard, used only real butter and ate fried chicken twice a week and gave birth to seven children.  She never walked on a treadmill, probably never rode a bike in her life, and never joined a health club.

She also never wore spandex.

Now – I feel better.

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