Thursday, June 5, 2014

Where the elephant men are KING

I have spent many an afternoon riding my bike on bike trails since I was a kid.  As I've gotten older and returned to riding, I've noticed a prominent fixture on all the bike trails around town: the elephant man.  You know the men I'm talking about: big bellied, big chested, precariously but perfectly balanced on their skinny little tires with their knees jutting out away from their bike.  They always sport the bike-shorts-and-t-shirt look, which makes them look so cool with their shirt flowing around them while you feel like you can't catch a breeze. Hardly any of them wear helmets because they never leave the trail.  They all ride really nice road bikes, the kind of road bike their wives let them buy when they tell her they want to buy a motorcycle after retirement. 

The thing about these guys that really gets me is what makes them king: they just speed around that trail.  Going in the opposite direction I'll see them 2-3 times over the 8-mile loop.  When they pass you from behind, you don't know how someone so big can go so fast, but they do.  They're biking machines.  These guys spend hours and hours on their bikes every week.  Escaping their wives for a few hours, or burning off some calories so they can have a beer at dinner and some cookies with their grand kids without too much of a disapproving glare from their wives.  I just don't get how they can ride so much with their knees angled out like that and how that doesn't slow them down.  The most distinguishing feature of these men is their calves: they all have the most beautifully sculpted calves you've ever seen on a human being.  That is the true mark of the elephant men, their calves. 

Now, get them out on the road, or on some big hills, I could probably out-ride them, but on the trail, they rule. 

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