I just left home for the second time on my Ukranian mountain bike (a hand-me-down from a USAID guy that Alexis met on Thanksgiving). I stopped at the end of my street and paid somebody 25 cents to pump up the tires. Then I dove into traffic and 95-degree-exhaust for my ride uphill. The great city we live in is literally built on one long hill, which makes for great riding half of the time. The first few pedal strokes went well but as the novelty of pedaling wore off, I grabbed onto the bed of a passing pickup truck. I had a nice conversation with the three construction workers sitting in the back of the truck as I held on for dear life. I've seen lots of cyclists holding onto trucks heading uphill here and they make it look so easy... As a teenager, I thought I was being stupid holding onto friends' cars going 45 MPH, but it turns out that that was just practice for being stupid later in life. The construction workers were thoroughly entertained. And who wouldn't be by a skinny white guy on a bicycle skitching on their truck? Pretty soon I had to let go to make a turn. On the next short hill, I nearly died. It's been so long since I exerted myself in the heat that I thought I was going to throw up. After a long break I made it up the hill, then coasted down Route Delmas to my office where I drank gallons of water and felt sick for an hour. My total trip distance was about 2.5 miles.
Tim, when you come visit please bring my helmet and the seat and handlebar off of my mountain bike. Thanks.
PS: I once rode my bicycle 4,000-miles. If you don't believe me, click here.