The Brotha From Another Planet!
Growing up in Chicago exposed me to a lot of things. Some great things:
Harold's Chicken, Lake Michigan, Taste of Chicago, Giordano's Pizza, Michael Jordan, The Super Bowl Shuffle, 24 hour public transportation, Michigan Ave, House Music, The FEDERATION, my family, etc etc etc. Good stuff!
Then there's the not so good:
Vice Lords, GD's, Latin Kings, drive byes, snow, COLD AZZ WINTERS!!! The Hawk, etc etc etc.
With that said, I thought I had seen and done it all by the time I moved to Florida. There's nothing down there but palm trees, beaches, and ernge juice. What else is there??
Well, moving down here exposed me to triathlon, but before that, the Tour De France. I don't remember exactly how I stumbled up on it, but I hadn't seen stuff like this growing up:
What in the world is this, who are these guys, and how come I never heard if this before?? In all my years of riding my mountain bike on lake Michigan I had never seen people riding bikes like this, wearing uniforms like a real team and hauling ass! I was intrigued! Lol
I soon discovered the Tour has been going on for DECADES and is EXTREMELY popular around the world. Kinda like the World Cup: popular everywhere but in the USA. Many of the cyclists are mega stars and quite wealthy.
I had "discovered" a new sport and couldn't get enough of it! (This was before Lance Armstrong became a household name.) I started watching all the cycling I could find on tv (which wasn't much) and reading the mags at my fav store Barnes & Nobles.
I soon found my favorite team: T-Mobile/ Team Telekom. In the 90's and early 2000's they were the equivalent of the New York Yankees. Extremly popular and dominating many races around the world.
I come from a predominantly black family (lol) and no one I I'm related to or know is into anything like this. Nor had I seen anyone who looked like me riding in the Tour De France. But why should that stop ME from liking it and trying to get in where I fit in??
It doesn't, and here's why:
Life is too short to limit yourself or not like or try something because it doesn't fit the status quo or is considered "cool" by your peers. Only YOU can live your life, not anyone else. Happiness comes from within, and no one can (or should) steal your joy or decide what makes YOU happy...
So even though I knew people would look at me as if I was a brotha from another planet, I didn't care. I decided this was something I wanted to try and turns out I liked it!
That was 15 years ago, and now fast forward to today's 42 mile training ride:
I have A LOT of biking and triathlon gear and even though I'm used to it and think nothing of it, many people still aren't exposed to it on a regular basis and look at me like I'm crazy... Lol
I get a kick out of the reactions. This morning I put on my T-Mobile gear and head out to Flatwoods Park. But on the way I gotta get gas! Imagine how some people react when I roll up to the pump with the bike on the roof of the car and me wearing a tight bike shirt that just so happens to be pink and black...lol
Anyway, I had a GREAT ride today. I rode 42 miles in 2 hours and 20 minutes and felt pretty strong. It was very hot today, but when riding the bike it doesn't feel too bad because there's always some sort of breeze.
This blog wasn't really about my training ride. It's about finding something you like to do no matter who else likes it. Get out there and have some fun! You never know, you might turn others on to it to!
After my ride I did my usual cooldown walk and my yoga. I snapped a couple quick pics of the park on the way out:
After that I went to the bike shop and bought some more Gu:
I can't live without my Gu! Lol
I get my Gu and lo and behold? Who do I see on the wall? One of my fav cyclists, T-Mobile star Jan Ulrich!
Finally! A place where I don't stick out like a sore thumb! Well not as much! Lol
Next project is having MY poster up on the wall! Hey, if you're gonna dream, dream BIG!!!
Thanks for reading! Till next time, Peace! :)