Having just had my mumbledyfiftysomethingishmumble birthday a couple of days ago I realize that I am officially ensconced in the 'late middle aged' category. Some might be so insensitive as to imply that I am in 'incipient grumpy old guy' territory but only the truly cruel. Or maybe Lu.
But I'm totally Ok with that. My view is that age is just a number but complaints about my gallbladder are forever. And cool. I still consider myself a bit of an athlete, albeit a slow and inept one. I still lift, ride and walk Angus around the block. Of course I don't lift as much, ride as far or walk any faster than an octogenarian poodle but I'm still out there, sweating and grunting my way through exertions that my grandkids would giggle at.
Which is why this whole Strava thing puzzles me. Oh not in an "I don't understand the technology" way, though that is always a concern. I mean, I don't Twitch or Faceplant or any of those social media things these kids today are doing. My cellphone is a hundred years old and my car won't talk to me no matter how long I hold my breath.
Anyway. The basic premise is that you attach one of those new fangled devices like GPS or Strawberry or OCD to your bicycle (or body. Apparently Strava also works for runners though I'm not real clear about how to attach the things to your legs and still get them to work. Glue maybe? Does screaming, involuntary leg waxing hold any meaning for you?). Then you go for a ride. Afterward you upload your ride information to Strava so everyone else in the civilized world (and parts of Indiana) can see how you did. Doesn't that sound like fun? Me neither. I think it sounds like an incredible amount of work to allow strangers you'll never meet to digitally pat you on the head and say "That was a very nice try. Why don't you take up something a little more in line with your abilities? Like paper mache maybe."
The idea of paying for gadgets to attach to my bicycle and then uploading my rides for all the world to see and make fun of sounds a lot like performing dental surgery on myself. Yeah, if I'm going to be subjected to that much pain and ridicule there better be nitrous oxide and a whole lot of ice cream involved.
I'm old and slow. I know it, you know it and everyone who's ever seen me puffing up a slight incline, looking for all the world like a red faced, geriatric gorilla on his last legs knows it. Why would I put that out for the world to see? Humiliation? Hey, I get enough of that at home. I do not need to see these comments;
"Hey Six, the idea is to ride the bike not push it."
"It's really motivating to see someone who's 90 still out there riding. Keep up the great work!"
"Try putting air in the tires."
"The ambulance is on the way. Just hang on and take deep breaths."
"My grandpa is faster than you and he's been dead for three years."
"What a maroon."
And so on.
No no no. I will not be an adapter of this technology. Instead, I propose a new program for monitoring and sharing your athletic endeavors. Something that will allow you to...let's just say 'fudge' your results. Nothing evil just minor 'corrections' and 're-evaluations of the data' that will make you look more like Lance Armstrong and less like Infarctus, the bicycle riding Hippo.
And we will call that program Anthropogenic Global Warming. No, wait. That's already been taken. How about WILTY as in Would I Lie To You? Yeah, that's the ticket.
Instead of taking your ride directly from an electronic device (because we all know what liars those things are) WILTY will allow you to input the data directly and then change it as others chime in with their own factually challenged ride profiles so you can always be King of the Mountain. For instance.
You've just ridden Death Hill. It took you approximately forever. You stopped along the ride 74 times to catch your breath, take a drink of your PopsoEnergoHeartattacko sports fluid, re-start your heart with a portable defibrillator and generally wonder what could have possibly motivated you to spend 5 hours of your Saturday sweating and cursing when you could have been watching womens steeplechase and eating Cheetos from the comfort of your Barcalounger with the built in massage feature (happy ending optional). Is that really your fault? Isn't it really society's fault? Don't you think that if you had really wanted to you could have sped up that hill like you were a meth fueled rocket? I do too but don't worry, I'm here for you. And with WILTY it's easy as pie. Key Lime. Maybe with a 128 ounce Mountain Dew Slam.
Let's enter something a little closer to the truth as it should be if we were just a little less lardish. Like, say 23 minutes, 47.35 seconds. There, see how easy that was? Now, instead of painful remarks about your woeful inability to actually propel a bicycle in a forward direction you'll be inundated with comments like these;
"You beat that hill like a like you were wielding a magic Hockey Stick!"
"Cheating bastard, I hope you die screaming!"
Ignore that last one. There's always one rabbit pellet in every Key Lime Pie. And the best part of WILTY is that when FatBob from Bloatsville, Arkansas posts his ride time up Death Hill as 23 minutes 47.25 seconds you can quickly update your latest ride to just edge him out because you just know FatBob is a lying sack of crap and screw him if he can't take a joke. I mean, you don't even have to ride it because you've got better things to do than wedge a cubic yard of Spandex up your fourth point of contact while trying to max out the coronary rider on your health insurance and besides, you'd have totally nailed that ride if you'd just, you know, actually ridden it. It's the thought that counts anyway.
Now, instead of looking like a total bicycle maroon you will now seem to be a Steroidal Bicycle Deity with shades of Awesome Tour De Somewhere Badassery thrown in just for fun. Isn't that better? Of course it is. Remember, it's not a lie as long as you believe it. And by you, of course, I mean anyone gullible who logs on and views your ride times.
All this can be yours for the low low, one time only, get it before they're gone, up to 50% off and more, low down low payments, I promise nothing untoward will happen in your mouth, offer not valid anywhere that has electricity, double your money back if not satisfied (no, not really) price of $49.95. Checks payable to my barrister, the Honorable John BigBooty, c/o the Interior Ministry, Lagos, Nigeria.
It'll totally work. I swear. Would I Lie To You?
Now I just need someone with mad Haxxor computer skills and ambiguous ethics. Hey Borepatch and Keads. You guys doing anything this weekend?