beth rolls up to a stop light about 4 blocks from her house, all dorked out in spandex; another dorky spandex-clad man is also waiting at the stop light.
beth: hi, how's it going? [beth likes to be polite and say hi to everyone on a bike on the street]
man: hey, so how far did you go today? [said in a quite accusatory, competitive tone, with no pause between the "hey" and "so..."]
beth: uh, i dunno, i don't have a computer...i left at 7:30... [slightly shocked, cause she didn't know people actually said things like that to strangers. such questions seemed nearly as if someone would have asked: "how much money do you make?"]
man: well, i swum in the bay this morning and then went on this xxx hr bike ride.
beth: cool. it was nice weather out today.
man: yeah, a bit chilly. [man is wearing a sleeveless jersey, no gloves, and an aero helmet. ?!?!?!?!]
[side note: is there any need (or purpose) to wear an aero helmet when you aren't in a race? i have never worn one, but i thought they were uncomfortable and not extroidinarily $afe, not to mention expen$ive to boot. perhaps i am a just a newbie, but i have never heard of training in one, especially in december when there are obviously time trials or triathlons coming up. but if i am mistaken, please let me know]light turns green. beth and the aero helmet man both clip in to go to the next block where the light is red. in this time, aero helmet dude gets in his aero bars- for no more than 5-10 seconds, as there was a stoplight ahead. light turns again and they make a left. he gets in his aero bars again and he rides next to beth because he wants to chat but keeps getting faster and faster which beth does not appreciate, as she is going home.
man: so do you go that far every weekend?
beth: uh, well, i guess i go on long rides if i don't have a race or something.
man: you r-a-c-e?!? [it was more his tone of voice that was obnoxious-- in this, how-is-that-possible-you're-definitely-not-hardcore-enough kind of way.]
beth: yeah; it's fun. well, i'm turning left here (beth moves into left lane.)
this was a very strange end to an otherwise awesome day! i totally whored around all day. in the morning i met "dave johnson and the alameda boys" for a ride. (that is what i call them cause it sounds like some shitty rock band....but they aren't shitty, they are rad!) i hadn't ridden with them since may, so i had a blast seeing them. these dudes rock cause they are super nice, encouraging, and helpful. they let me ride with them the very first time i rode with shoes that clip-in and didn't know how to ride in a straight line. i am much obliged to them for helping learn how to ride my bike. after awhile, they turned around, and i kept riding with narda and fred. narda is awesome! then in danville i met some other folks and sucked their wheels back over the hills. they took me on some new roads and i didn't know where the hell i was. then i found out i was on the sproul ride, and i felt totally awesome, but kinda terrified cause i felt big league. (good thing i had on that safeway jacket). some guys i met ride track so that was cool to meet them. coming home on wildcat, someone coming the other way yelled my name and hooped and hollared at me, potentially yelling something about my quads. but i couldn't see who it was or hear what the hell they yelled. but the men i was with - who i didn't know from adam - thought it was quite strange, but i just ignored the hooping & hollaring and went on my merry way with these strangers, because that would have been weird to explain. then on my way home i ran into a couple of dots for a couple blocks. then after all that excitement, i met aero helmet man. but i was fortunate to have met him very close to my house so i didn't have to talk to him for ten miles or something like that. the funny thing, is later that day i was hanging out with my friend and told him aero helmet story. he said he was biking down broadway (just about the time when i was heading home) and saw someone "going really fast on a red bike" and he thought it might be me, but then he saw "some weird helmet" and thought: "beth would never wear something so dumb."