How do you know you’ve gained some pounds over the winter? Frankly, it’s just not easy to tell. But if you notice any or all of the following, it’s possible you’ve gained some weight:
- You find yourself unwilling to get on the scale.
- Your comfortable clothes, aren’t.
- Your fat pants fit a little tight.
- Your bike shorts function as an increasingly effective tourniquet.
- You find that your favorite riding position is no longer possible, what with new obstructions and such.
- You have to loosen your helmet straps, because your head is thicker. Oh, and maybe your neck is, too.
- You suddenly find yourself drawn not to climbs, but to flat rides.
- Your “sucking in stomach” pose shows approximately the same amount of stomach as you used to show before striking the “sucking in stomach” pose.
Now, ordinarily I would pass these symptoms off as belonging to someone else, but not this year. This year I am proud of my largeness. Why? Two reasons.
- I am at a personal all-time high, weightwise. 188 pounds (OK, I was higher at one point when I was on steroids, but that was cheating). I believe one should always take pride in setting a new record.
- This is all part of my brilliant plan to be incredibly fast this year.
How Being Fat Is A Brilliant Racing Strategy
The problem with being a featherweight cyclist is that it takes more time to get a workout. You’re so light that hill climbs are practically no effort at all; you never get to experience the glorious feeling of exhaustion that can only be brought on by hauling 50 pounds of lard up the mountain.
I, on the other hand, get that kind of workout every time I get on my bike.
So you tell me: who’s getting the more intense workout? Who’s muscles are working harder? Who’s developing a set of quads powerful enough to leg-press a cement truck?
And, not least of all: Who’s legs are not only fighting gravity, but the squoosh of knees into stomach with every turn of the crank? And I’ll have you know: that squoosh is not trivial (although in the interest of full disclosure I should point out that there is a corresponding de-squoosh on every downstroke, wherein a measured 72% of the energy expended in squooshing the knee into my stomach is returned to the knee).
Now that I have succeeded in part I of my brilliant and well-considered plan, some of you may think that I need to lose that weight.
The problem is, if I lose it too gradually, I run the risk of losing the power I have gained along with my magnificent girth.
Which is why I am not losing any weight at all right now. Instead, I will lose it all really fast, later.
I will let you know how I plan to do that when I figure it out myself. I’m man enough to admit that there are minor aspects of my plan that are not yet perfect. Still, I consider this a trivial detail and am not concerned about losing the weight. How hard can it be?
In short, 35 pounds of flub I’m carrying around right now isn’t a tragic failure of willpower.
It’s a strategy.
PS: It’s good to be back.
PPS: Tomorrow I unveil the Team Fatty jerseys for pre-order. And yes, I said “jerseys,” not “jersey.” And no, I don’t just mean that there are men’s and women’s versions. I. Am. So. Mysterious.