If you want to get the most out of your #fake #profamateur cycling career, you need to take breaks from time to time, as there are things that tend to get you down. For example, the other day I got caught and dropped by a guy who is pushing 70. Totally normal.
And then I get e-shouted at a lot. In law, people love to e-shout. When you meet them in person, they are more like kittens, but behind the email wall they can be super shoutypants, which gets tiresome and decreases your fitness on the bike.
For my cycling break I rented an apartment in Vienna during February, you know, Central Europe in the middle of winter, a garden spot of sorts where all the plants are dead. The apartment has a cozy couch but the last person who stayed here had a legit case of B.O.
The couch and blanket and pillows all have this really intense dude B.O. smell, so when you snuggle down into the cushions it feels like you are jamming your nose up into a hairy, unwashed armpit. But when the alternative is being cold, you sort of accept the man-smell and hope that by going for a few days without a shower your man-smell will out-duel and eventually conquer his.
I think it’s working because the seat next to me on the subway is always open no matter how crowded the car.
You can also break things up by eating. Cycling too much makes you over-worry about being a fat slob, but when you go somewhere wintry you can put on tons of clothes and no one can really tell what you’re like underneath, which means lots of butter.
And, when you run away from your bike you DGAF about overeating. Instead, you think things like, “I’m going to be dead for a hundred billion trillion years to the ten billionth power times infinity. What difference does it make if I have those two dozen cream-filled donuts?”
Vienna’s best food break is Joseph Brot, the bakery, where you can order a loaf of the best rye bread on earth. It is so sweet. And the texture is perfect. And you can go to the Lidl supermarket and get a pound of coffee for ten bucks, coffee that is so incredibly good …
One thing that cyclists need a break from is getting ripped off. A pound of delicious coffee for ten bucks reminds you that there is economic justice in the world. Everything isn’t overpriced carbon or $300 for a pair of plastic pants.
Napping? Good travel requires bizarre sleep schedules. For example, today I got up at three, went to bed at one, got back up at five, and am going out to have dinner at eight, will come back around ten, go to sleep at midnight, and etcetera, as Billy Stone would say, may he rest in peace, and if not in peace, at least in sarcasm.
You should see old friends when you take a break, like my friends at the razor shop. Okay, they don’t know me, but I know them, which is the best kind of friendship anyway.
If you are working on an impossible vanity project, such as memorizing all 744 lines of The Miller’s Tale, taking a break will allow you the freedom to walk down the street mumbling to yourself like an insane person, and in Vienna you will fit right in, but don’t make eye contact because people will think you’re about to ask them for money.
After taking your well-deserved break, expect to return to cycling slower, heavier, less motivated, and possibly a lot smellier. But the payback is amazing: When the totally clean, pure-as-the-driven snow septuagenarian rides you off his wheel you won’t care … at all.