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Being Charitable Really Chafes My Ass

February 20, 2011

You might not have heard the rumours, but I’m sure you’ve felt the rumblings, that feeling that some thing just isn’t quite right with the universe lately. There’s been a shift, a subtle change in the air. You’ve been uneasy, I know, and you’ve had every right to be. You’ve just not been sure as to why. Well I’m here to explain it to you, and to hopefully, set your minds at ease. What’s happened is quite remarkable, but the effects are only temporary, so there’s really no need for panic. The truth of the thing is that I’ve actually done something charitable. A shock, I know. Don’t worry, it’s not likely that they will be nominating Sister Surly for sainthood anytime soon. Like I said, it will pass, and I will go back to my endearingly selfish ways.

I took up bike riding last summer. Dave and I went down to the Walmart and got ourselves a matched set of Huffy Cruisers. We started off by tooling around the bike path and going to summer concerts in the park. I got a cute little basket and rode it to the market to buy wine and Velveeta. Then I started riding it on the bike path for exercise. Huffing along (pun totally intended) on a 10 mile ride several days a week. I was pretty pleased with myself. That is until the day that the Lycra clad badass guy on a fancy bike looked at me while we were waiting for a light and smirked at me and had a good old laugh at my expense. Bastard.

Not one to be mocked by strangers, I decided it was time to step-up my game, and I went to the local bike store and ordered myself up a hybrid bike called the Trek FX 7.2. The guy at the store extolled all of it’s nifty features, but all I cared about is that it was shiny and would give me a little street cred on the bike path, and give me permission to laugh at people with cheap ass bikes. Evolution my friends, evolution. So, since October of last year, I’ve been riding 10-17 miles a day, 4-5 days a week. I even got one of those fancy helmets. Mind you it took me a while to rally around wearing one. They are not flattering. Not flattering at all. In fact, there’s not a lot about this particular sport that is. But we’ll get to that.

About a month ago I got the hair-brained idea to sign up to participate in a “century ride.” For those of you who rarely get up off your couch and haven’t seen a bike since your dad cried when he took the training wheels off your tricycle, this is a one-day 100 mile bike ride. Yeah, I know. I said it was hair-brained. I hooked up with the folks at Team in Training, which is the world’s leading sports charity training program. Basically they help me train to be able to complete the ride without harming myself or others (unintentionally that is), and I raise funds for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Seems like a fair trade. Well, kinda. These poor nice people have no idea what kinda trouble I am. A number of them have friended me on Facebook, though, so they’re about to find out. Bless their charitable little hearts.

So, now, if you’ve not ridden a bike since you were 13 and thought you were hot shit on your BMX dirt bike and broke your arm in 3 places, you’re in for a real learning experience. To do one of these long ass rides you can’t just throw on your favourite sweats, hop on your bike and go. Oh. No. You need to wear all kinds of fancy Lycra outfits. Apparently it’s not a good plan to wear solid or dark shirts when you ride. Something about getting hit by drivers who can’t see you ’cause they are sexting while they drive. So, it’s recommended that you wear tops that are brightly coloured and festively patterned. Yeah, you know what? It’s hard to shop for festive clothes when you’re surly by nature. It took me 15 different stores before I found a single shirt that I could pull off. Surly just ain’t a neon pink flower kinda girl. You all know that. Not to mention these damn shirts are tailored for speed and wind resistance or some such shit, so they cling to you like a bad date and show off every fat roll and ripple on your belly. This is not a sport for the self-conscious.

Then there’s the pants. Oh. The pants. These things are tighter than skin tight and what fat they can’t contain within them, the push out at the top and the bottom. Doesn’t matter if you try on the fat girl size, they are still making muffin tops on one end, and fat knees or cankles on the other end. Then, there’s the chamois, which has more in common with an adult diaper than it does the cloth I’m used to drying my car with. They pack all this fancy padding into the crotch of your pants to help ease the fact that what they call a bike seat is really a medieval torture device aimed at preventing sexual intimacy. Trust me, no one wants you to touch their hoo-ha when it’s numb and rubbed raw. No one. Not to mention that when Dave gave me a playful crotch grab this morning on my way out the door, he got a very uncomfortable look on his face and asked me if I was carrying a load. Yeah, he’s all charm. Bastard.

Now back in the day when I walked a marathon with these same fine TNT folks, I used some kind of lubricant on my thighs, ’cause like any good fat girl, I know how bad it is for one’s thighs to rub together. You don’t want to have that embarrassing conversation about the scabs on your inner thighs when you’re finally scored a hot date, so you lube your thighs up something proper. Well apparently, there’s a similar line of thought when you’re on a bike. They want you to butter your crotch. Parkay? No. Butter. They even suggest you slather up the inside of your shorts. I’m tellin’ ya people, this here sport is super glam.

So, why you may ask is a slack ass gal like our Surly going to all this pain, suffering, and slathering? Simple. I think cancer sucks, and this is my little way of doing something about it. I’ve lost a number of family to a host of different cancers, including my grandmother to Lymphoma. I’ve got a good friend who just this week had breast cancer surgery, and learned that my sister Parrish’s best friend has been living with a treatable blood cancer for the last year. Every person I’ve mentioned this adventure to has, to a person, said “Oh my (fill in the relationship here) has (fill in your cancer here).” So, if you want to follow me on this adventure or even go so far as to make a donation to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society to support my crazy ass plan visit My TNT fundraising website. If you actually find what I’m doing inspirational, after you’ve checked your dosage on your meds, sign up for a Team in Training informational meeting and get off your ass and do something to say “Fuck Cancer!”

One Comment leave one →
  1. Lisa permalink
    February 20, 2011 2:58 am

    Paying just to see you huffing in Lycra is worth every penny! however, for good karma and all, kudos! I might have to dust off my tricycle.

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