Saturday, June 20, 2015

Vampires vs Werewolves

So I was running up the Salève this morning and when returning down, there's a moment where you run on the road for a bit, right through a hamlet where those intrepid helmeted bikers end up after their grueling ascent... And there were two of them there, eyeing me with what seemed like a great deal of suspicion and malevolence behind their fancy shades, and it made me wonder about cyclists vs runners, like triathletes vs runners.

Well, I have to say that we do look less ridiculous. When I started biking, since I'll be entering an Ironman end of August to check that off the bucket list, I told my wife: "You thought I looked silly before, with my spandex and buffs and backpack, wait till you see me decked out in cycling gear with shoes I can't walk in and diapers in my shorts..." Before I actually had to go out and buy one of those special cycling shirts that zip down all the way in front and have convenient pockets in the back to hold a really compressible wind breaker and the odd food item (though not very convenient for holding cell phones - it bangs on the lower back and I'm always afraid it'll fall out), I always poked fun at cyclists who wear these pastel-coloured shirts (usually apple/Jägermeister vomit green, or cerulean/Blue Curuçao vomit blue or Barbie-doll/wine vomit pink) with fake sponsors splattered all over them. Then I realized: YOU CAN'T BUY ANYTHING ELSE! Well, not quite true, but it's damn hard to find a simple grey cycling shirt...

I just can't get into much. Yes, the downhills are a real rest, unlike running downhill - although if it's too steep I get a sore neck and back, and cramps in my hands from clutching onto the breaks for fear of falling - but for the most part the idea of depending on something mechanical just gets to me. I still would rather go out for a long run than a long bike. I can usually get myself out of any scrape on a long run, but what if my bike chain breaks halfway up a hill, in the middle of nowhere? And the middle of nowhere can be half a mile from the nearest town, since you can't walk ten feet in those clip-on shoes... Actually, all it would take for me is to puncture a tire, since I have no idea how to change an inner tube and I still have replaced those extra CO2 capsules that fell off my bike last month. I probably need to address that issue before the Ironman...

Anyway, my "meeting" this morning with those two cyclists made me realize that cyclists/triathletes and runners are like vampires and werewolves: two feuding families of undead/presumed athletes, unable to understand one another.

Considering what I've said above and my experience with biking, I understand why I don't understand them - even though I'm occasionally venturing into their territory (hoping not to get harmed) - but what do they think they have on runners? We look less silly and - personal opinion - I do think werewolves, being less "diva-ish" than the vampiric cyclists or triathletes, are tougher and more resilient).

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