Going to a go-go.
Dancing in the streets? Better try riding the trainer first
The past caught up in February, when I realized that I hadn't ridden a bike in weeks (it wasn't much of a chase; about like Gord Fraser reeling in Nathan Lane).
The future was peeking around the corner of late March, when I was to be at Sea Otter, where people often ride bikes and insist you accompany them.
I checked the thermometer and its festive sheath of icicles. Still loitering around zero, with the ever-popular wind out of the northwest. I checked my legs. All wrong. Hairy, white, and weirdly muscled from running around in the snow like an Iditarod musher thrown from his sled.
Time to start riding the wind trainer.
Get Down, Get Down. Now, the only thing I despise more than USA Cycling, right-wing zealotry, politicians, sobriety, the Eternal Revenue Service, Boulder, Fords, payment 60 days after publication, dopers in Lycra, SUVs, Las Vegas, Motel 6, mass merchants, the Front Strange, retarded motorists, Critical Massholes, cows on my 'cross course and winter, is the wind trainer.
I can't even look at one of the infernal contraptions without remembering a friend's tales of his dad's World War II service. He and the rest of the 101st Airborne were trapped at Bastogne, during the Battle of the Bulge, and one of his duties was pedaling a wind-trainer-like generator that kept a radio working.
At least he was generating electricity; all I've ever generated is boredom, sautéed in sweat.
Twist And Shout. Still, I will turn to the wind trainer in extremis, the equivalent of a GI making a trench confession before heading into battle. But I can't simply hop onto the damned thing and start cranking out watts. I must have distractions.
Thus, after bolting an elderly Steelman onto the Cateye Cyclosimulator, I reached for "The Allman Brothers Band: A Decade of Hits, 1969-1979." By far the best "Symphony for Wind Trainer" ever scored, it is an hourlong interval workout, from the high-cadence warmup of "Statesboro Blues" through the brutal seven minutes of "Jessica" to the leg-breaking pinnacle, "One Way Out." "Midnight Rider," "Melissa" and "Blue Sky" provide recovery between efforts.
And what better way to wind up a ride to nowhere than with "Whipping Post," the final tune on the CD? "Good Lord, I feel like I'm dyin'."
And Now, The Resurrection Shuffle. But even this failed to stir me. "Christ, if the Allman Brothers can't get me on the bike, who can?" I sniveled. And then KRCC-FM, our area's National Public Radio affiliate, launched into "Vintage Voltage," its Friday oldies show, anchored by GT (no, not the bike company; a dude name of Gary Tatel, who knows a damn' sight more than Pacific Cycles about spinning a righteous disc).
Bam, I was on the bike and rockin'. Sly and the Family Stone, "Dance to the Music." The Drifters, "Save The Last Dance for Me." Otis Redding, "Shake." Wilson Pickett, "Land of 1,000 Dances." And the finale, with my rear tire smoking and sweat droplets sprinkling the living-room carpet, "Dancing in the Streets," by Martha and the Vandellas.
It was only one ride, but it was a start. And while summer may not be here, the time was right, and when I hit Monterey I was dancin' in the streets.
Kept the jeans on, though, even when it was warm enough for shorts. Not even the wind trainer and Wilson Pickett can do anything about those Day-Glo legs.