Airport laps

The only thing more Far Side and Escher and Don Martin than sitting in an airport is walking in one, and by walking I mean any ambulation not purposed to get you to a gate, down a ramp, to a potty, to a gewgaw store, or to a sugar-caffeine-beer-grease dispensary.

I got to the airport with hours to spare because it is only by arriving anywhere absurdly early that you can truly risk being late. This principle applies most often to biking, where you get up an hour early to eat and be there in time but end up checking emails and Facebag and tear out of the house ten minutes late and miss the ride unlike EA Sports, Inc. who gets up five minutes before leaving and always makes it if only just barely and even though you have to average 32 to get there.

If being in an airport is Dali and Finnegan’s Wake, then walking around the airport in order to exercise is Dune after the sand worm has swallowed you. One full William P. Hobby lap through all three wings takes about 22 minutes and 14.567 seconds, approximately.

Certain sections are more challenging than others. The toughest section is passing the police outpost. The police outpost is hard scoot by to because you already look terroristic, walking aimlessly without a soy latte, and they keep a bicycle in front of the cop station to entrap bicycle terrorists. They know that as you’re wandering around you won’t be able to resist stopping and examining the police bike’s components and especially the tread wear and condition of the chain because it is sparkly clean (no mud puddles or road grime in the airport) and really, do the tires even wear at all when rolling on carpet and glassy tile?

Oh, and is it tubeless? And what make is the helmet dangling from the bars?

Once you stop to check out the bicycle your subversive credentials are proven beyond doubt, and they look at you funny and ask what you’re doing even though all you really want to know is: IS THERE A KOM FOR INSIDE THE AIRPORT?

They take notes and ask to see your ID and boarding pass again.

The first airport laps are toughest because every few yards there is a restaurant baiting you with all of the cuisine America has to offer, Tex-Mex, BBQ, Chinese food a/k/a fried chicken lumps in orange sugar sauce, burgers, Chick-Fil-A homophobic fried chicken, and coffee. You have to grit your teeth and focus on not stopping, especially since once you cross the Texas border the giant Trumpian wall prevents any barbecue from escaping, especially to California.

After you’ve plugged your ears, Ulysses-like, the pizza and burger sirens can no longer be heard and you can focus on other things, like finding new and circuitous routes through the chairs, or memorizing which gates have phone charging banks, or noting the people who seem mostly to die in the next 72 hours due to triple-wide obesity, or, after two hours of walking, finally breaking down in front of Peet’s and ordering a coffee, gruel, some warmed up oxygen and a side of toasted water.

Because it’s never too soon to get back to profamateur race weight. SoCal, here I come.

END

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12 thoughts on “Airport laps”

  1. As a child, we would occasionally go on mystery tours. Basically it was a way for the local bus company to make a little money. There wasn’t much need of buses in a country that was shut in the name of dog for the whole day. Dog was supposedly kicking back chewing his bone after 6 days of digging up the yard.

    On one very un-magical occasion I spent the day wearing the itchiest woolen trousers, on a puke smelling bus driving 3 hrs to Heathrow, where we were confined for the day before eagerly climb the bus o’poke for the ride to salvation.

    So I feel your pain.

  2. To an occasional user, HOU seems more determined than most airports to prevent walking. You pretty much have to use your Garmin and pluck to navigate routes between and among gates if you won’t use the damn train. Signage is non-existent. Manual (pedual?) stairs are hard to find too.

    I have the KOM for out-and-back terminal B TT in DEN, doped on Peets.

  3. Wanker: If you ever get out here to Phoenix we’ve got a stellar airport for walking, drinking,eating, etc. – providing you’re in the main terminal (otherwise you might as well be at a Greyhound station). That said, we also have awesome mtb’ing trails to both the N and S of the airport literally within spitting distance so you don’t want to waste a bunch of damn time at the airport…

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