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Archive for April, 2009

Skinsuits

Does your Cycling Husband look like this in a skinsuit:

skinsuitbatman

Or like this:

mcskinsuit

Or perhaps like this:

stay-puft-marshmallow-man

Or does it really all depend on how far into the season he is? And more importantly, why can’t I locate a copy of the porn that Mario Cipollini was supposedly in?!

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Lucky Me, Lucky Me

Some people take pride in their homes. They spend countless hours pouring over paint chips and fabric swatches, in an attempt to build the perfect nest. Mediterranean, French Provincial, Modern Industrial – the list goes on. But what’s the style of MY house? There isn’t a formal name for it I don’t think, so I call it: back-room-of-a-bike-shop meets Nashbar-sale-catalog. Shockingly, none of the design magazines have come calling to do a photo shoot.

We live in approximately 600 square feet. From where I’m sitting I can either touch or see four completely built, ready to ride bikes. This doesn’t count all the stray forks and frames. And chains and bar tape and water bottles. And tools and cables and helmets. And don’t get me started on all the clothes in the closet. How many pairs of socks do you people need? And is there a formal name for whatever it is you shove down the front of your shorts when you ride in the freezing cold?!

You know that scene in the movie “Annie” where Miss Hannigan sings that “Little Girls” song? That’s my life – except replace children with everything I’ve mentioned above (along with a giant box of Clif bars).

Some women are dripping with diamonds
Some women are dripping with pearls
Lucky me! Lucky me!
Look at what I’m dripping with…rear derailleurs!

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Back in the saddle

cippo_whtispimp2

Gear, cyclists are obsessed with gear. The lighter the better. You have have to understand basic metric system measurements as your cyclist will measure everything in millimeters and grams. Don’t fight it; just try to grasp the basics. From the bike frame, to wheels, bars, saddles, tires, hubs, the list goes on and on, all of these things will be pieced together to create the perfect instrument for them to ride. We will only touch on one of these bits of gear today…the saddle.

Saddles, aka, the seat that your cyclist will sit on for an indeterminate amount of time on a weekend, are of utmost importance. Different saddles will be tried, measured to the millimeter, ridden and then adjusted. This will happen often. Sometimes they will rejoice, “I found the perfect saddle!” Then, about a month later they will buy & try a new/better saddle. 

There are a number of components to consider when the saddle is purchased. Again, a lot of time is spent on it, so first up: comfort. Even if the saddle is comfortable to sit on for hours on end, there is usually an added “lubricant” that will ease the pain that can occur over time. These lubricants, or chamois creams, have great names: nubutte, assos, udderly smooth, friction freedom, this list too seems never ending. Noxema also works wonders in case you need a quick and inexpensive cure.

Next on the list: weight. Again, everything is in grams so I can’t honestly tell you I know how much a saddle really weighs as I’ve not taken the time to do the calculations. I do know though that my cyclist husband prefers things that are made of carbon fiber as they hardly weigh a thing, and it looks really cool too.

Speaking of looks, let’s discuss #3: appearance. As much as your guy may tell you he doesn’t care about how he looks on the bike, he does. He’s in spandex, he better look good! All his components should match, or at least coordinate; from the cycling kit, to the bike, to bar tape, and of course the saddle. There is one rule that you should never forget: White is pimp (this phrase will be repeated, often).

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medium_fat-cyclist

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Growing up rather shy I was always attracted to the complete opposite. Someone confident, gregarious and intelligent. On our first encounter, my cyclist husband walked into a crowded room, his energy was so intense;  I was slightly terrified. I’d never been around someone like that before. We were part of a group of students and cyclists alike and we became friends. It may have helped somewhat that I worked at a local coffee shop and may have been known to give away a cup of coffee and a muffin every now and again. Cyclists, 99.9% of them anyway, love/can’t live without their daily dose of caffeine. My job, allowed us a great place to get to know each other better – Oh, and the same percentage of cyclists will also always accept free coffee and muffins.

Back to the confident cyclist; guess when you surround yourself with others with that quality, some of it will rub off on yourself, which is what happened to me. A couple months into our friendship, I told him we should go out, on a date, not just as friends. And then we did. Many years later, through many bike races, across the country and across the world he surprised me by asking me to marry him. So I did.

I am a cycling wife. I have stories to share.

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