Old Person Writing About Misspent Youth

File this under the “old person writing about misspent youth” category.
I’ve been riding “bikes” for a while. My first proper bike was that ice-blue Trek 412 in 1982. I rode that bike almost daily for the next six years until college, girls, and beer distracted me. Those six years for fun but in hindsight so wasted. Yea, I rode some club rides and I think I did a race or two and I may have actually finished in last place but I think my mind has erased those details.

My point: I wish I knew then what I know now. I wasted a lot of time and energy.

First: Diet. My parents fed me of course, but I ate shit. Let me clarify: I lived in a hippy town and neighborhood and the food was as healthy as it was going to get, but even though I think I thought of myself as a teen foodie, I didn’t eat enough nor did I eat very smartly. Not enough greens, way too many carbs.
Did I ever bring snacks with me on these rides? I don’t think I did. How is that possible?

Second: I only had one pair of bike shorts. Did I wash those every day? I don’t think I did. Not that it mattered because (I’m embarrassed to admit this) I frigging wore tighty-whiteys underneath them.
Yup. Underwear. It’s amazing I didn’t have issues, um, all down there.

Did I shower after my rides?
Ugh. I don’t want to think about it.

I could have easily bought another pair of shorts and later on I did, but I’m scared to think how many years I got by with that one pair of bike shorts. Yuck.

Third: I wish I had told my teen self to keep an eye on the cool green/red/white wool Giordana jersey I had. I’d love to find that.

Fourth: I was always a bit self-conscious about the whole cycling thing. I don’t think there was ever a case of a high-school girlfriend ever seeing me in my get-up. I didn’t know any girls who rode bikes at all. Odd that now that the streets are lousy with ladies on bikes.
I bet I just needed to ask around.

Fifth: With age, I think I’m a lot smarter about riding and not crashing into things.

Sixth: Proper tire inflation is one of the most important things in the world. I mean, after food & water & housing & love & security & wine & good fitting trousers.

Seventh: If it wasn’t for my sometimes wonky feeling left knee or my sometimes wonky feeling right foot, I think I could easily drop my teenage self. Actually, I know I can, as I rode the route I always did after school a few years ago and was a bit shocked how quickly it went.

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