Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Australian Open 2008 - Day 4

Greetings Readers

"Come on!"

with the fist like that (well almost - he had his fingers pointed to him and a few inches in his face).

Do I even need to tell you readers who that belongs to? Really? "Come On!"

Hewitt (pictured on today's post). Yes readers, after a bit over two months I now have cable once more. I have been up since 9:30 pm Mountain Standard Time (Denver, Colorado) watching Live Tennis coverage of 2008 the Australian Open. The majestic aura of the first Grand Slam of the year. Oh, that pretty blue surface that I viewed for the first time in Australia was oh so pretty.

Note: In case any of you readers have not watched the taped replay tennis at 1PM on ESPN I am going to mention some winners. So do not read the next 5 paragraphs. As I mentioned last year - I want to know the LIVE action Live. Not the tape, edited, version in the afternoon.

And when I saw that backwards hat, Hewitt's Logo (sponsor logo) and that look of Hewitt - I was in awe. The "other" Aussie, besides Kim, I really care for in Tennis. And then I heard and saw my first "Come on!" of the New Year from Hewitt. I got a little lump in my throat and that "Come on!" literally got me into the Grand Slam - sort of Hewitt telling me personally to get into the first Grand Slam of the New Year. From there I could not stop watching. Matter of fact - I stopped watching at 6:25 AM this morning when my guy, Safin, lost to Baghdatis in a 5 set match.

Sure I am tired, but readers it is the Australia Open. It is a Grand Slam. It is my life for the next week and a half. Day 4 was this morning/last night. I was yelling, hollering, fist pumping and saying "Come on!" all through the morning.

By the way, Hewitt won. Though his opponent did win one set when, per the announcer, said this should have been a three set match. Any true follower of Hewitt knows he has his up and down moments - so going a fourth set was not unusual. Blake, Djokovic, Nalbandian and Berdych also won their matches.

Oops - I almost used that seven letter word starting with a "s" and ending with a "y"

The past 12 hours I was in heaven. Especially when I got to see Marat. Oh boy oh boy. As I stated there are reasons why I follow Marat. And he did not disappoint me this morning. Also, when he threw his racket on the court the ball boy came and picked up the racket and gave it back to Safin. Respect. Marat would and does pick up his racket when he does "lose" the racket. This time the ball boy ran over and picked the racket up for him.

Alright, enough Tennis for now, but I am back and I am ready to give the blow by blow details and what I see and hear.

Now, let us go to cycling/biking - and that word "Commuting"

Commuting. Bike commuting.

I never would say I am commuting, in my opinion. You ride or you don’t.

If I need to get to work I will say that I ride to work. Well, almost all the time. An influx to this statement since winter in Colorado can be pretty cold and snowy at times. As yesterday was about 12 degrees for a high and negative numbers with that oh so cold Wind Chill. Though without I think it went to -5 degrees.

Yet, I ride to work. I “show off” or to become someone I think I am on a bike. I ride with confidence. That is something arrogant to say, but it is the truth. I pretty much dress up on how I want to go out. I just do not throw on any old jacket, gloves, etc. I have purple jackets (more like wind breakers), a green jacket with some insulation, a very light jacket, and a “Polo” jacket. And on all of these jackets there are logos on the jackets. That name brand wh-re I am.

I have the most beat up pairs of running shoes should I not been riding clipless. Though if I am going clipless I have a pair from Performance Bikes.

My head – Always a bandanna. My favorite – the ZZ Top bandanna with the words “Hell raisers and Beer drinkers” Then, I have a Jack Daniels and Iron Maiden bandanna that I wear should I not feel the desire to wear ZZ Top. When the air is cold I go to my infamous Natalie Merchant Stocking Cap.

Gloves – Always a weight lifting glove(s). The biking/cycling gloves that are specially made for biking are just not right. Not enough padding, I think, on the glove. I also want wrist support since I do the long rides. I still have originally bike gloves I wore down to threads and holes galore.

I try to wear only biking shorts – I want to show off my spectacular thighs to the world. I want to flex them at the stoplights to all the people who may be looking at me. However, when the weather gets very cold I put on the long skintight biking pants. Oh yes, it hugs the legs, but I just do not want to wear them. Hiding my assets, so to speak.

More on the biking shorts. I just love the cotton bike short as opposed to the Lycra bike shorts. I do not know why. Matter of fact I still have the first to pairs of bike shorts I bought. I just cannot bear to throw them away nor could I wear them anymore. I could be ticketed for indecent exposure. Anyway, I also like to have color in my shorts. Not to mention padding in the right places.

I do own one cycling bib and I have to say I like this, but the only drawback is when you have to use the bathroom. I wear one of my “awesome” (as my old co-worker would say) bike jerseys – just because I can. So, I have to take that off before I can take the bib down.

Cycling socks – I used to not care about socks, but then one day it must of it hit me that some cycling socks are cool. As opposed to wearing a “general” sock. Again, in my opinion, it is an unsaid statement that this guy cares about biking. Which I do!

In the winter though I used just plain white socks and believe me I go through an 8 pack during the winter. By the time Spring comes around, those socks are not white. Also, courtesy of my beat-up shoes it is the mud, dirt, tetromonodichloride (whatever that stuff the DOT sprays down on the snowy roads - magnesium chloride ) and bike grime.

By the way bikers/cyclist - Clean your bike regularly in the Winter - this de-icer will "destroy" your bike and components. That is why I only use a "winter bike" I can technically not keep pristine.

I am also sporting my Oakley sunglasses, G force watch and a smile to make you melt (women).
I know there are a lot of riders who are just casual about or do not care how they look on a bike. Nothing bad in my book. Hell, there are some people who bike to work and work in the same clothes that they biked to work in. I know that I sweat when I do bike to work so to me working in the same clothes that you bike to work in is just disgusting. I know readers; some of these riders do not have a shower at there work. Sorry. I do and I will take advantage of the work shower and all the amenities.

This as something that I looked for when I was consulting for the past 12 years. I made sure that the place that I was consulting at had some sort of shower in the basement or the first floor, which they usually did. I was not worried if there was a locker since I had a backpack for all my “stuff” If there was no shower then I would not take the assignment. There was always another place that would have a shower.

Yet, which gets me and I still do not understand. How do these same riders cope with the heat in the morning or day in the summer? What I mean is when I am out the door in the morning the temps are usually okay, but by the time that I go about two miles I am literally drenched in sweat and my head has beads of water all over.

So, with that image can you imagine these same riders working in the same clothes that they biked in? Again, in my opinion, just sounds disgusting, but then I really do not have a clue how anyone would clean up at work. Perhaps they bring a washcloth or perhaps they use the paper towels in the restrooms. I guess that would work. But what about the entire body. I am not sure if I would give myself a paper towel bath in the restroom.

Again, I have nothing against this idea, but I do not think that I could this at all. There may be a time in the future that this might happen to me, but should that come up we will deal with it at that moment.

I would ask you readers what and how you do this, if this is something that you do, but honestly I do not care. If you happen to blog/publish this and I come across this then I will learn at that time.

Now, that brings me to the next thing. I have two sets of clothes. My biking clothes and then I have my work clothes. I do have to have both. This is something that is a necessity and do every morning (or sometimes at night should the urge hit me). Yet, every once in a fucking blue moon – I forgot one piece of clothes and obviously it is the most important clothing of the work clothes. The pants or the shirt. I usually take my stuff out of my bag before I shower, but every now and then I will shower and then take the work clothes out of the back. That is when I really get “I don’t fucking believe this” look and feeling. I just took a shower and I just found out that I have no pants. That is one of the worst feelings in the world, about biking. Oh yes, I would work in biking outfit, if I could. But since I am in the corporate world, I do have to look all business.

The worst feeling... well besides forgetting my post off key and and having gone 52 miles round trip without even getting the mail.... but that is another story for another time.

Forgetting an article(s) of clothing sucks. I have to go back home and then bike the way I just came. It has happened more than a few times, but I think it has been about two and a half years since my last incident of forgetting an important piece of clothing.

And I think that covers the biking/cycling gear on my person. I wanted to branch out on some sub topics, but that would make this post even longer.

Until the next time

Daryl Charley
The Fallen Athlete

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