Tuesday, July 22, 2008

I Am So Tagged

Elden tagged me over on his blog. I do not fear him. Despite his nickname, he is a puny man who strikes dangerously only when he comes up behind you on a bike. Here are the questions I must answer to avoid leprosy:

If you could have any one — and only one — bike in the world, what would it be?

I honestly don't know. I don't pay attention to which bikes are good. I like Elden's road bike that I picked up with one finger. And I want a mountain bike that makes me go faster, especially at altitute. In short, I want a really good bike.

Do you already have that coveted dream bike? If so, is it everything you hoped it would be? If not, are you working toward getting it? If you’re not working toward getting it, why not?

No, I don't own the coveted dream bike. No, I'm not working towards getting it. Spending $5,000 on a tricked-out bike is taking food out of my children's mouths. Literally. I would have to pull the macaroni and cheese out of their mouths and put it up for sale on eBay.

If you had to choose one — and only one — bike route to do every day for the rest of your life, what would it be, and why?

If this question really means every day for the rest of my life, I'd have to pick something relatively easy, like Hogg's Hollow or South Fork. When I'm 72, I don't want to have to drag my colostomy bag up and down a hard ride like Tibble Fork.

But if this question really means "What's your favorite ride?" I'd have to narrow it down to these five:

1) Gooseberry Mesa
2) Tibble Fork
3) Gold Bar Rim
4) Little Creek Mesa
5) Slickrock

What kind of sick person would force another person to ride one and only one bike ride to to do for the rest of her / his life?

This has the makings of a sci-fi novel. On the planet of Gebarn, enslaved Polowots are forced to do all kinds of things against their will. One polowot must do the same ride every day for the rest of his life -- until he escapes! On a Vespa!

Do you ride both road and mountain bikes? If both, which do you prefer and why? If only one or the other, why are you so narrowminded?

I ride both, but I spend way more time on my road bike since I live in Seattle.

Have you ever ridden a recumbent? If so, why? If not, describe the circumstances under which you would ride a recumbent.

Yes, I have ridden a recumbent, and it was fastastic. Seriously. It put a huge smile on my face. I wouldn't think twice about riding a recumbent around.

Have you ever raced a triathlon? If so, have you also ever tried strangling yourself with dental floss?

Yes, triathlon. No, flossy suicide. In my first triathlon, I won my age group (35-40). For my victory, I received an Ironman watch, which was an excellent conversation starter: "Hey, guess where I got this watch..."

I swam in high school. In fact, I was a two-time state champion* so I could hop in a lake right now and swim a mile in under 20 minutes. But I destroyed my knee training for a marathon, so I'm not supposed to run more than 6 miles. If I do a sub-12 Leadville, I'm going to train again for triathlons.

* The Upper Peninsula in Michigan is officially considered a state in high school athletics.

Suppose you were forced to either give up ice cream or bicycles for the rest of your life. Which would you give up, and why?

Easy -- ice cream. I could take or leave it. Now if you gave me the choice between bicycles and pastries, I'd have a more difficult choice. But you said ice cream, so that's the end of that.

What is a question you think this questionnaire should have asked, but has not? Also, answer it.

“Do prefer riding uphill or downhill on a bike?” would be my question, to which my answer would be "Both!"

You’re riding your bike in the wilderness (if you’re a roadie, you’re on a road, but otherwise the surroundings are quite wilderness-like) and you see a bear. The bear sees you. What do you do?

Look for a wild berry to eat.

Now, tag three biking bloggers. List them below.

No. The cycle of tagging ends here. I do not fear leprosy. By the way, I read a cool article about a doctor named Paul Brand who spent his life trying to cure lepers. When he visited the leper colony, he tried to figure out why lepers lost their fingers and toes and went blind.

He had an epiphany when he tried to open a jammed lock with a key. The leper boy who was with him grabbed the key and opened the door instantly. But the boy's hand was torn and bleeding. The Dr. Brand realized that leprosy caused partial paralysis, and the lepers were losing their fingers and toes to avoidable injuries and nibbling rats. So he had them wear heavy duty gloves and socks.

Lepers also developed cataracts more easily because they weren't blinking enough due to damaged optic nerves. When Dr. Brand figured this out, he performed a simple surgery in which he rerouted the eye muscles to the jaw muscles so that whenever the patients moved their jaws, their eyes would blink. True story. And that's why lepers look so silly.