Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Hail and Consequences

Well the season has come… Riding season that is… or at least I thought it had but of course Lebanon had another trump card lying up its sleeve.
Yes HAIL… YES again!
My goodness if it wasn’t a record first time in 50 years they’d seen the stuff… last year as the Lebanese were busy blowing up politicians… no poor victims of my subjective rants… they couldn’t stop…. there they had to have HAIL AGAIN!
Even when your brave author was out and about in the bitter cold of Chicago surviving snow drifts…. and riding his trusty steel frame bike…. never once saw hail such as this stuff.
It was gravel from the heavens!
Then came the rain
Shortly followed by more hail!
Interesting…the weather is almost as short lived as the attention span of the people here. Oh, and for you sensitive types, that last quote isn’t mine it’s from another survivor of this social mess they call a republic.
Yes REPUBLIC in the Darth Vader and Yoda sense…although I haven’t found anyone with ears pointy enough to fit that short green dude’s role in the political circuit… but fear not my beloved readers… your author will not rest until the Yoda of Lebanon is found!
Many popular nominations have attempted to make Walid Jonblad the front runner…but this being a democratic webpage I would have you believe… unlike the elections that go on here…EVERYONE GETS A CHANCE to leap into the lap of luxury corruption!
Now riding season… of course has with it threats hazards and tales of wonder…
The first… my discovery of a CATALAN shell worker “roughing it” with is specialized bike out in… Syria…of all places!
First, the shock of a nearly Basque dude…
much less a nearly Basque dude with a bike
and not only a bike but the same silly addiction /obsession /sickness your author has for abusing oneself in the name of zipping around on a 15kg triangle of metal is…
well almost enough to induce epileptic fits from SHOCK!

Max, the owner of VO2Max (the only substantial bike shop in Lebanon) took AGES getting to his shop. He was meeting clients on a ski expedition.
Max, my dear friends, is an explorer!
He gladly shows off his pictures from the poles (I forget if it is the north or south one that I saw… but whatever…. the dude was freezing his skinny butt off staring at a zoo of ice cubes).
Then there is his next event… EVEREST!!
Yeah, the dude is headed up the highest mountain on Earth to ADD to the pollution left behind by other climbers.
It makes sense at least to the individuals who employ half of Syria in SUKLEEN.
I am sure they will get a crew up there sooner or later
decked out in their ugly red and green uniform with the nifty little pincers and scrap of cardboard to catch orphaned cigarette butts and shovel them into the nearest green SUKLEEN dumpster.
Max was only keeping the shop open for 20 minutes as me and my new found friend from Catalonia tried to repair our wives.
Well Luis (the Catalan cyclist) is married… but to be honest if you are that intimate with your bike saddle for more than five hours, the woman in your life is more of a mistress. While we stretched out for a good 2 hours and a half waiting for Max to arrive in his version of a Lebanese 20 minutes we talked shop. This guy had to have been loaded there were FSA(Fast Straight Ahead) parts EVERYWHERE!
Translation for the uninitiated… CARBON… yup he was also running a compact carbon crank arm and nearly chuckled when he saw my sorry state of affairs!
I was riding a 52/42/30 triple crank wide and heavy with the silliest looking setup of all CARBON pedals.
What a waste carbon pedals and a heavy metal crank set!
Fear not readers a quick starvation diet to make up the cash and all will be righted… Gulp…
well maybe not quick…
Max quoted my $8000 for a Cannondale carbon crank.
This may end up needing one of those Live Aid Tours to save your author from evaporation due to skinniness. Pray that I don’t end up like my little green ex roommate!

After my repair was complete...
I headed back home… and… my leg started clicking again…
Yes… You know me that well… I went straight to the gym and did it more abuse just to shut the noisy thing up!
That is when I met MR. TIM… He’s the head Kahuna down at lifestyles the aforementioned gym and was alarmed at the fact I’ve had “two incidents” at the gym. The first was due to a misunderstanding. I thought they wanted me to starve before assessing my diet and body when meeting the nutritionist.
Lemme tell you boys out there…
Lebanese nutritionists aren’t the lunch ladies we have in the states!
These ladies are models for Barbie complete with plastic parts everywhere.
Brilliant... no?

If anything is going to make you follow a diet a blonde with warpaint is going to!

The second was a bit of a dehydration problem in the hot tub…
I didn’t pass out and remember it all
I was fine once they dragged me out and cooled me off.

So dear.... Mr. Timmy... wanted to make sure I knew he had his Brit eyeball on me
and that I should “take it easy and train a bit lighter”

Then after using my whiley… weasley… ways… he ended up handing me a card for the Hash House Harriers (a drinking club with a running problem)! Talking about business in the region and handing me one hell of a wonderful quote!

Then on to training… Which of course means abusing my muscles for a couple hours and racing out into the cold…
Well that is… after living it up in a Turkish bath, fresh cold shower, jaccuzi, sauna and finally shower progression I have seen fit to make a ritual!

So today I am sore as hell and not in the Gym.
I find myself somehow happy and contented

It could be that I am stuck with a belly full of Iraqi cooking..
thanks to a WONDERFUL 1PM appointment with my trusty first semester sidekick through suffering…Doctora Farida.

Which leaves me at present typing a much awaited and very needed update.

Doing so I catch myself wondering why a pack load of Lebanese rolled by on their version of hells angels (43 teens on thirteen mopeds) slinging youth front flags and the old tree with blood stripes around.

Must mean the weather is about to change.


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