Monday, June 12, 2006

Now That's a Big Ol' Fat Guy, Uh?

I have great respect for overencumbered people who work out. Whether they're jogging, blading, cycling, even if they're just barely walking, mad props to them for trying. The easy thing is always to settle back in the easy chair and reach for the remote. It's hard to go out and lift a leg, not to mention in public where gawkers are easy to find.

But they do it anyhow, whether it's for health, for fresh air, for an extra jolt of energy--whatever their motivation, they're putting some effort into making their lives better, and I get all warm and mushy when I think about it.

So I'm riding along Pacific Coast Highway the other day, in a fairly urban stretch--not out where the waves crash against cliffs. I'm dodging parked cars and fire hydrants, and I look across the street to see a huge man riding along in the other direction. I'm no slim kid, 235 lbs. without trying, so guessing from my size I'll conservatively peg him at 350. Not huffing and puffing, mind you--he's just cruising along like nobody's business.

The first thing I thought was that I'd never seen a cycling jersey that large. I didn't know they made them that big. I know, because I'm 235 and on days when I'm being honest I'd say I'm too big for my extra-large jersey. They make these for elfin riders like Levi Leipheimer and George Hincapie, who weigh about 150 lbs. wet. And yet here this guy is pedaling along in what I'd call a cycling jersey--bright colors, form-fitting cut, jersey fabric.

My wry observation would be that Spandex is a privilege, not a right, but of course I have great respect for folks who go out and try anyway. So I ride on, and as I pass a delivery truck on the right side of the road, the driver gets out of it and says, "Now that's a big ol' fat guy, uh?"

By the time I heard it, I was already really past the truck, so I just laughed as loud as I could and hoped he heard me. If I'd had the five seconds to react, I would have added, "And I'm just a little ol' fat guy, yeah." But he'd already nailed it en passant, and the only right thing to do was to appreciate it out loud.


Papa Bradstein said...

Reminds me of one of my favorite cycling jerseys, which I'm pretty sure comes in XXL sizes.

Only I would need one that contines on the back, ". . .and stay fat in the summer."

mrjumbo said...

Who you callin' old?