17 minutes

That’s how long I have to write this.

On my way to the Sagan Gran Roadie-Oh yesterday, I rode first to Union Station, a solid 30 miles.

I say “solid” because I practiced starts at the 21 lights I got hung up at. There is nothing dumber than practicing starts on a city street on a Saturday morning.

Or any morning.

Grunting, ugly-facing, acting like you are killing it. So lame!

But don’t laugh too hard. You’ve done it, too!

I got on the train, which was so packed I had to sit on the floor. A lady came and sat down with me. Did you know there are people so overweight and weak and stiff that they can’t properly sit down on the ground?

She pretty much collapsed on the floor and then complained more than a cyclist about to quit a century. She was actually panting.

Her poor husband, about my age and in no better shape than his wife (funny how that works), he was going to faint after about fifteen minutes of … standing.

I offered him my spot on the floor which he took with the speed and greed of being offered a stock option. Again, on the floor, panting.

But all that was as nothing when it came time for them to get up. They couldn’t. They were like beached whales. It took three people tugging and grunting to get them back on their feet, and when finally righted they were sweating as if they had been doing wind sprints.

Whatever those are.

I got off at Oceanside and rode to San Marcos, another 20 miles or so, but I couldn’t stop thinking about that couple and the fact that there are tens of millions of Americans who cannot sit down or stand up unassisted, and for whom a few minutes of standing is the most brutal exercise they will do … for the rest of their lives.


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4 thoughts on “17 minutes”

  1. I’m always disturbed by this. No one is ever going to guess me as a former Olympic champion but, damn, push away from the table once in a while.

    A tour of nearly any other developed country and we look downright obese as a country, comparatively. So, go ride your fugging bike!

  2. ‘Wall-E’ Pixar movie had a nice touch as humans on the Space Ship escaping Earth got fatter and fatter as they spent time not getting exercise.


    Obesity is new US normal.

    Miss Google states:

    The latest federal data show that nearly 40 percent of American adults were obese in 2015–16, up from 34 percent in 2007–08. … In 1985, no state had an obesity rate higher than 15 percent. In 2016, five states had rates over 35 percent.

    Obesity is a grave public health threat, more serious even than the opioid epidemic. Apr 24, 2018


    Get used to it.

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