Monday, June 8, 2009

Vacation Day Two: The Truth About Biking

Baseball was rained out last night, not surprisingly. I'm told that it's "the season" in Florida right now, which I'm assuming means hurricane season. The only other time I've heard people talk about "the season" and have it be followed by repeated deluges of rain was in "I Still Know What You Did Last Summer", and I'm really hoping my vacation turns out better than that one, so I'm trying not to dwell on the weather.

Everybody was pretty tired yesterday from travel and such, so we all got up late and didn't really do much in the morning. Eventually it was decided that we would go to the pool so that some of us could swim, some of us could read, and some of us could attempt to exhaust our toddler. Kate and I, not having toddlers, opted for reading:

katie at the pool

reading by the pool

And no, I'm not being anti-social by being way over at the other end of the pool. There was more shade over there. We're still way too early in the trip to be tired of each other yet.

I didn't stay at the pool long, because the Boy Scouts staying on campus had a noon cookout and pool party scheduled and I didn't want to stay and accidentally pick a fight with the other guests about indoctrinating their children with the institutionalized homophobia that the Boy Scouts have gone to court to legally protect. See, committee member at work who said I was "combative"? I'm not always argumentative. I could have stayed and asked the kids if they had their "Fag Banning" merit badges yet, but I decided to go for a walk instead.

fau sidewalk

Sometimes my restraint comes as a surprise even to me.

When I started walking around the campus, marvelling at the wide sidewalks and palm trees and sunshine, I kept thinking, "This is a college? Why did I go to school in upstate New York?" After five minutes of walking, though, dripping with sweat and noticing a distinct lack of shaded spaces in the outdoor areas, I answered my own question. Florida is hot, and humid, and I can't understand how people live in climates like this deliberately. Everything feels like it's just on the verge of sinking back into the swamp at any moment and taking you with it. On the plus side, though, everything is air conditioned, and I could totally get used to that.

On the other hand, everything in Florida feels oddly alive, like plants might spring out of the ground at any moment. Granted, they would be strange plants that I wouldn't recognize:

seed pods

but that's more my own fault for lacking horticultural knowledge. There are also bugs everywhere, and snakes, and frogs, and alligators, and tiny lizards:

planter lizard

planter lizard (2)

so I keep finding myself spotting movement out of the corner of my eye and hoping it's not poisonous.

After lunch the baby fell into an exhaustion coma from being at the pool, and I got tired of reading and watching TV with everyone so I eagerly volunteered to go with Dan when he decided to go to the bike shop. While there, I learned that my biking friends have not been forthcoming about the actual benefits of biking. They've babbled about physical fitness and feelings of accomplishment and benefits of exercise and the wind rushing by and comeraderie and blah blah blah, but no one mentioned this:

sport beans

Biking comes with candy.

And eating the candy while biking is not just accepted, but encouraged.

How could no one have mentioned this before now? That time that Sandy tried to take me biking and I was all "the seat is hurting my butt" and she was all "you'll get callouses and stop feeling that after a couple months", she never said, "Shut up and have some candy." Had I been presented with the right motivator, I could have been winning the Tour de France by now. Tragically the moment is gone and I will always think of biking as the sport that I was misled about. I may not have a bike, but I still have candy, and I guess that'll be enough to get by on.


Strong Cookie said...

1. what were you reading by the pool?

2. can I jut get the candy or do I HAVE to have a bike?

stanford said... now that the secret is might as well be let in on the even better part. It is socially acceptable for competative cyclists to eat what essentially amounts to cake frosting during events. It even comes individually packaged in aproximately a 2 spoonfull surving. They call it 'turbo goo' or something like that but it is really just delicious cupcake topping.

Joel said...

1) I'm currently reading Curtis Sittenfeld's "American Wife". Since we just got rained off the beach, I'm gonna try to plow through it as it has been slow going so far.

2) You have to eat the candy with two cups of water. It tasted good, though.

3) FROSTING? And you can just squeeze it into your mouth? Biking was explained to me in entirely the wrong terms.

JMBower said...

If I recall correctly the frosting is a similar concept to those of use who were known once or twice to suck down honey straight from the honey bear before soccer games back in the day.

Todd said...

Gu isn't so much like frosting as it's like thick chocolate (or other flavor) syrup. And it has caffeine! I ate about 10 packs one year when I volunteered at the local MS-150 ride.