He’s pulls up behind me and asks me if I’m “swinging a let it back.” I mentally check the position of my balls and respond with furrowed brows.
I don’t think I’m swinging a let it back, but frankly, I don’t know.
“What’s “swinging a let it back?””
“It’s when you purposefully ride a heavier bike to build strength, for training…” responds the 50 something year old cyclist. He’s rockin’ something Specialized.
“Well, I guess I am swinging a let it back. But not by choice. I can’t really afford anything else right now,” I say as I smile and look down at his ride. “I figure,” I continue, “that I’ll ride this thing for about a year, save up, and buy something else. …In the meantime, these are my training wheels.”
“Training wheels huh? Tell me something, how are you able to get up to 25 mph on that thing?” Leaving his buddy behind, he had hooked on to me about one mile back. His Cat Eye senses tell him to tell me how fast I was going.
“Really? I got up to 25 mph? Cool!” I smile big. The light turns green. I take off on a wave of adrenaline and a little pride.
I started cycling back in late August. Since I don’t have a car I had always been a big bus- and city-bike commuter, but I had never donned the tight shorts, exaggerated helmet, or eaten shot blocks.
Cyclists were these lycra-clad griffins that would fly by me on the San Diego Creek bike trail. I was the slow, cowboy-booted, jean wearing bicyclist just trying to get to Irvine from Santa Ana.
I was becoming bored with running, so when D-Bag randomly told me that he was going on a two-hour ride while I was sitting at the pub located one block from his place, I told him to “give me two minutes,” “let me finish my Devotion,” and “I’ve never ridden before…I mean…you know what I mean.”
That day we cycled up to Yorba Linda from Orange. A few days later we headed south via the SART to the ocean. A few days later back north up to Yorba Linda. A week later I cycled from Santa Ana to Seal Beach and back a few times. Two weeks after that we embarked on The Trip: D-Bag and I cycled from Santa Ana to Old Town Pasadena.
I now regularly commute to and from Sunset Beach.
…all on my heavy-ass 1970’s Chicago Schwinn Varsity.
Am I swinging a let it back? Yeah man, strength doesn’t grow on carbon fiber trees.