You can make plans for your life, but many times life has its own plans for you. You don’t believe me? Think of all the unexpected turns your life has taken for you to be exactly where you are today.
On June 30, 2013, I rode my mountain bike with a friend for about 10 miles. My friend, I will call him Sam, is older than 45 but younger than 5 decades. He has a wife and 3 boys.
Men love to brag, especially about accomplishments that are physical in nature. So on the evening of the day of our bike ride, as we were hanging out at a friend’s house by the pool, with Sam and his familia and mi esposa, we bragged about our 10 mile morning mountain-bike trek. In the midst of our bragging I opened my big fat mouth. First, I opened my boca grande to have some Cheetos that were well deserved after a 10 mile bike ride, and then to say “I was thinking of riding my bike from my house to the Lincoln Memorial sometime this summer”. My mouth and ego had just written a check I would have to cash. As Sam was throwing the football to his kids in the pool he said with grand excitement “Let’s do it tomorrow”. With my best Gary Coleman face I asked “Whatchutalkinaboutwillis?”
He responded “Let’s ride from here to the Lincoln Memorial”. I immediately thought “He can’t be serious, and if he is, el es loco“. I told him that the ride from my house to the Lincoln Memorial is almost 20 miles. And as I was explaining to him that it might be a bit far for 2 men in their forties, that don’t ride bikes often, to just try to do that type of bike journey he interjected and said “Don’t tell me you’re going to let an almost 50-year-old White-Boy beat Healthy Homeboy in a bike challenge”. I took the bait. (By the way, Sam called himself “White-Boy”. I never have called him that, and never will, because now he’s “Crazy White-Boy” to me.)
So on July 2nd, 2013, at 10am, the inaugural “Healthy Homeboy Bike Ride to DC” was born and completed. As you can see, there were only 2 participants, but it’s a start. Yes, that is sweat all over our shirts. On a side note, how about those not so inconspicuous bushes on the right side of the White House roof. Can you say “Snipers”?
I look like I have boobs in the picture below. I just went and checked, I don’t.
On July 3rd I flew to Tampa, Florida to visit my sister, my brother-in-law, and my best amigo who would be flying in from California. Being that I am not an avid bike rider, my legs were tired and a bit sore from my bike ride the day before. July 4th we hung out and lit some fireworks in front of my sister’s house. Don’t worry, fireworks are legal where my sister lives so I did not break the law, and I never have broken the law, oh no, not me.
July 5th, I woke up feeling good, but I didn’t exercise and I reintroduced my stomach to gluttony.
July 6th, Saturday, I woke up feeling really good and energetic. Maybe the gluttony fed my muscles. I borrowed my brother-in-laws mountain bike and went for a ride that morning. I returned home about 1 hour and a half later having logged another 18 miles bike riding. My legs were tired, and all of me was sweaty and stinky. My deodorant had stopped working around mile 10. I think the Tampa humidity had melted my deodorant right off. When I got back to my sister’s house bragging about what I had just done, the first thing she said was “Take a shower because you’re all sweaty and probably stink”. I threatened her with a bear hug. She said I better not, and I didn’t because she had made me breakfast. Never bite the hand that feeds you, and never work up a stinky sweat and bear hug the person who cooks for you. We had a great day, and I fell asleep early that evening because I was dog-tired.
I woke up early on Sunday morning, July 7th and I was energetic again. My sister’s cooking and the sweet agave juice I had consumed the night before had my muscles primed and relaxed for the day. I thought “Fuck it! Today is my last day here. I leave early tomorrow morning. I should ride my bike from my sisters house to the beach. It’s barely 6am. I could leave at 7am and be at the beach by 9am”. I did it! I began my bike ride at 7am and I arrived at Frenchy’s Rockaway Grill on the Beach in the Gulf of Mexico at about 8:30am. It was about 19 miles total. I texted a picture to my sister and company to show them where I was. They thought I was crazy. They are correct.
I took the picture below right before I crossed the bridge to get to Clear Water Beach. This bridge kicked my ass. My legs were cramping and my rear end was sore. Either bicycle seats have shrunk since I was young or my butt has grown, but either way my ass was sore. I think the week’s bike riding was catching up to me. From here I could see the finish line, and nothing was going to stop me, not even sore legs and a sore butt. That’s my shadow below.
I needed a ride back to my sister’ casa, so my sister and company asked if I could wait til 11am so we could eat at Frenchy’s together and celebrate my bike ride. I had no choice. I wasn’t about to ride back home, so I waited. I found a nice seat on the boardwalk, sat, Pandora kept me company, and I just relaxed. Beach goers started to show up slowly, with coffee in hand, and kids were being restrained from sprinting towards the ocean. I sipped on some agua.
I burned off the extra time and any excess calories I had, waiting for them, by riding my bike up and down the boardwalk. It was great sightseeing. The temperature climbs quickly in Tampa, and even quicker at the beach because the sun rays bounce of the water and onto your body, or maybe it just feels like that after a 20 mile bike ride. I got my sexy on and took of my tanktop to ride my bike. It felt great, or as modern people would say “It was a-m-a-z-i-n-g”. Some women even checked me out to boost my ego. I could see them peering through their “cover my puffy eyes and disguise a person’s true age” shades. I checked them out in return. (My wife has the same rules for me looking at women as art exhibits have for me looking at their art. I can look, but I can’t touch. That’s a deal). You’ve heard of Sleepless In Seattle? Below is Shirtless In Clear Water, sporting my bling, of course.
My family finally arrived and I ate grouper fillet and drank 2 tequila sunrises. By the time they arrived my bike mileage had reached about 25.
So there you have it. A little more than a week ago I had absolutely no plans of bike riding this past week. In total I rode 10 miles last Sunday, then 20 on Tuesday, another 18 on Saturday, and about 25 Sunday, July 7th. That is a total of 73 miles in one week and about 4,000 calories burned, if not more! All because Sam, aka “Crazy White-Boy” asked me to ride with him last Sunday, and then to the Lincoln Memorial last Tuesday. Gracias Sam. Below is Sam at the Lincoln Memorial talking to his son who happened to call just as Sam and I arrived at the Memorial. His son asked “Dad did you make it?”, and obviously he did. Great job Samuel.