Cryotherapy. Stretching. Massage. Shaved legs. Chiropractic. 3-week build. Peaking. Working on your core. The gym. Yoga. Vitamins. Salt tabs. Supplements. Cadence. Spinning out the legs. These are just a few of my favorite cycling myths.
Especially spinning out the legs.
What does it even mean, except “compulsively unable to stop riding despite complete mental and physical collapse”?
When Team National Oil Fund announced a short recovery ride to spin out the legs, I knew it was a trap. For one, the Norwanish are a very patient people. They can wait six entire months simply for sunrise. Then, during the six-minute summer (don’t be caught on the pot when it comes or you’ll miss it), they cram in a year’s worth of strenuous activity before winter sports set back in, i.e. vodka.
Despite the repeated beatings we had administered on previous rides, I knew that it was nothing for them to wait a couple of days to exact revenge. “You are not kitting up?” Tore asked, displaying the second most feared Norwegdan national trait, which is kindness. “We are only doing the easy recovery ride. To spin out the legs.”
“I don’t believe you,” I said.
“Because your lips are moving.”
“It will be very fun and easy, a couple hours, a nice lunch, some pleasant scenery. And to spin out the legs.”
“My legs spun out yesterday. Completely. What they need today is to not move. Preferably in the pool or in bed.”
The other lemmings on Team What Me Worry joined the recovery ride and waved good-bye.
They returned seven hours later but didn’t look so much recovered as they did returnees from Bataan. “How was it?” I asked Hector. “Lots of recovery?”
He collapsed in a chair. “Yeah. We went super easy. For the first ten minutes.”
Tore and Leiv put it in the gutter for a couple of hours, apparently. Then there was a long regroup while search parties went out to rescue Dave, Steve, and others. Then the Norish attacks began again, followed by city limit sprints in which Brian and Russell claimed the lone American gold star before the Nordland beatings resumed.
The 1-hour rest stop became a 2-hour beer stop and they all dribbled in before sunset, wasted. But their legs were thankfully spun out.
For dinner we went into Lloseta to a very nice restaurant, Antonio’s Place. Hector got things started off by toasting the group and draining the green aperitif set next to his plate. “That is some bitter shit,” he scowled.
Before the others could follow suit, Antonio rushed up, panicked. “Senors please do not to drink the finger degreaser!”
We put down the green soap and awaited food. “Senors I have ordered the ocean’s finest, bought fresh from the ocean today.”
First came a massive plate of whole squid, which were promptly renamed “sea penis” due to appearance, thick rubbery texture, and difficulty to choke down without gagging. To add to the ambiance, each giant sea penis came with a side dish of glistening mayonnaise.
Next, Antonio brought a giant plate of bamboo clams. “Muy famoso in Japan,” he assured us. Russell bit hard and lost most of a molar, as each clam was apparently stuffed with sand and grit. “Dude,” said Hector as Russell spit out his tooth, “you just bit into the clam’s poop sack.”
An argument ensued over who was the biggest fool, Hector for drinking the detergent, Russell for eating the poop sack, or all of us for being so hungry we were willing to eat sea penis with jizz sauce. To resolve the dispute, Antonio dashed back up with a huge plate of what looked like the world’s fattest goldfish. “Tuna!” he said proudly.
We stared at the goldfish hoping it would eventually start looking like a tuna, or at least not like the family pet, but no. So we ate it.
For dessert Antonio presented us with a spectacular dessert tray. “Catalan specialty!” he crowed, proudly waving his hand with a flourish over the four items that were still wrapped in plastic with expiration dates and bar codes stamped on the side.
“Dude,” said Hector, “he just bought that shit at the convenience store for 72 cents.”
We declined the Catalan specialty and walked home, but not before Nikolai and Jonathan got into a wrestling match on the pavement, pitting a 22 year-old, 6’4″ Nordanian cop against a 50 year-old, 5’8″ Texas restaurateur.
We watched to see how long it would take for Jonathan’s spine to snap, but he used his low center of gravity to put Nikolai into a Mexican testicle hold, which Nikolai got out of by falling on top of Jonathan, who made a sound like a flat tire. Hector was charging spectators ten euros each and made a nice profit.
Back home people went to sleep right away, doubtlessly preparing for another easy day on the bike.