Are you training for Ragbrai? I am! Taking time out from writing every day is something of a hardship for my publication schedule, but I’m doing it anyway. And hey, we all need a little more exercise in the spring. Or maybe that’s just me. Regardless, these are some important terms relating to cycling that you may not have heard before in this context.
Rain (n.): The thing that happens every time I get on my bike between September and July; What causes copious spots on my glasses, thus making cycling more exciting.
Gear Denial (n.): That moment when you could shift to a lower gear, but really just don’t wanna; laziness.
Iowa Flat (adj.): Any cycling route that’s 20-25% flat. Compare to Texas Flat (90-95%) or Cascadia Flat (0.5%).
Hill (n.): Any segment of road that requires you to shift to an easier gear; uphill.
Mountain (n.): Any segment of road that requires you to step off your bike and walk; A section of road for which your training goal is total domination and/or subjugation.
Downhill rest (n.): The precious few moments for breathing you hope will come after the hill.
Water bottle (n.): The thing you forgot to slip into the cage on your bike frame, thus necessitating you cut your ride short to avoid dehydration; the thing you dropped in the middle of the hill which turns said hill into a mountain.
Helmet (n.): The thing you damned well better turn around and go put on as soon as you notice you forgot it, dumbass.
Car (n.): Artillery round; The enemy.
Tired (adj.): How you feel when you could go five more miles, but you’d rather stop and check your email on your phone until you stop panting and/or sweating so much.
Exhausted (adj.): How you feel when five more miles will probably kill you, but you do it anyway because that’s how far you are from home; A sign you’re not ready for Ragbrai yet.