Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Coca Cola Shirts and Cavaliers

So today on my tempo run (which was fabulous, by the way), I got to thinking. I've been wanting a new, hawt, sexy tri bike for a while now.

But why? I dunno. I guess because it just seems like a natural progression or something. You know...start running, do a few sprint tris on mountain bikes, get an entry-level road bike, run a marathon, do an MS 150, think maybe an Ironman's not so crazy after all, spend a few seasons getting ready for it, finish Ironman. Want a new sexy hawt tri bike.

Now that I'm realizing how much child care costs (seriously...second mortgage, anyone?) and just signing up for races in general (for real, dawgs...does Steelhead REALLY need all $200? Would they also like my soul?), I'm thinking it's just not going to happen.

But I think that is OK.

See, I really have no business going out and getting a hawt sexy tri bike. Not just because I can't afford it. Because I'm not really even cool enough to ride it.

Seriously. I have no business on one of those things. Who am I kidding?

Growing up, my parents THANKFULLY did not allow me to succumb too much to the ridonkuluss-ness of the dreaded Middle School Years. Where most girls are mean girls, and where you tried your hardest to look like everyone else. Where you buy that purple ESPRIT sweatshirt...marked up $50 because it has the word "ESPRIT" on it and at age 11 you're not even really sure what that means but you MUST. HAVE. IT. because so-and-so has it and made fun of your outfit from Sears.

I really didn't have much ESPRIT stuff. Except for one purple sweatshirt.

But one thing I did have was a Coca Cola shirt. Exhibit A:


It was red, because it had to be. And I wore it on the first day of 6th grade with my denim skirt and loafers with the laces tied in some ornate knot that I had to do because everyone else was doing it.

I loved that Coca Cola shirt. It was the one piece of clothing I had that I really allowed myself to "buy into the hype" and feel all cool and stuff and do what everyone else was doing.

And then a few years later...and even now...I look at this thing and go, HUH?

THAT'S the fugly thing that I wanted to wear? Because everyone else said so?

Hmmm.

Since when have I cared what I'm riding? Honestly. Sheesh. I am currently driving the only car I've ever owned... a '99 Chevy Cavalier (total base model--no power locks or windows) with 92,000 miles on it. The heater and AC has two levels: high and off. The cupholder blows. There's some weird stains on the seats. It came with just a RADIO. Not even a tape deck. I splurged and spent $125 on a CD player, lest I succumb to the idiocy of Cleveland radio stations. The rust spot on my trunk is covered up with an Ironman Wisconsin magnet.

It is NOT a HAWT SEXY CAR at all.

I drive it to school and sometimes my students make fun of my car. SERIOUSLY. My students, many of whom have brand new or leased cars that are wayyyyyyyyyyy cooler than mine.

THEY'RE SIXTEEN.

Last year there was an H3 in the student parking lot.

I wish I was kidding.

I am always quick to defend my car. It's been hella more reliable than many of my friends cars. I gotta give Chewy some love. (that's her name) In fact, I sort of pride myself a bit on having a car that I paid off in 2002 still, that doesn't have any bells or whistles, and that I have money to spend on other things. Like a backpacking trip to the Grand Canyon, or whitewater rafting in the New River with friends.

(Or, lately, diapers and wipes.)

So I think I'm going to embrace my bike. Love the bike. It's a 2002 Trek 1200. I bought it with no experience whatsoever, and it took me on my first MS 150 that August. It allowed me to think, "Hey...maybe that Ironman thing...maybe it's not too crazy, since I just rode 150 miles...?" And it took me to Ironman Wisconsin. And it got me to the finish line.

She's not very sexy. But she's a workhorse.

This year, I'm going to put my FP60s on this very ordinary, very entry-level, very non-hawt bike. These FP60s, which are WAYYYYYYYY cooler and hawter than my bike, or really me for that matter. And I'm going to see how far they take me. And how far my bike takes me. But really, I'm going to see how far ME takes me.

Maybe the transition area at Steelhead will remind me of my high school's parking lot. I'm used to driving the oldest car there and it doesn't affect my work performance at all.

Perhaps ol' Chewy is trying to tell me something.

24 comments:

Sarah said...

Amen. Every time I do a tri and start looking around transition, I have to remind myself that a new bike won't magically make me a better triathlete. Especially since I can't afford one anyway.

They *are* pretty though... :)

Wes said...

First off, you are cool enough. All Trek roadies and tri bikes are HAWT! I just admire you for putting your priorities in the right place. You'll have that sexy HAWT tri bike when the time is right, and you deserve it :-)

P.S. Doing more with less is the coolest too :-)

greyhound said...

'99 Toyota with 138,000 miles on it, and you can't even imagine the other cars in the lawyer parking lot.

It's the one with the M-dot sticker.

and the finisher plate.

and the entry level bike in the trunk.


You keep going with your countercultural self!!

triguyjt said...

That was a HAWT Post.
for the record. Two semi newish cars..two payments..in debt up to my a%# !!!
keep on with your chevy..

I always hesitated in getting the latest bike and stuff and I (as you said) just concentrate on ME...but I lustfully eye all the new bikes.

J-Wim said...

I totally had that shirt ... in green. Also had an Esprit sweatshirt with matching cotton tote bag. Wore them both to death.
Also currently own a 99 Cav as our extra kid car (they share it to get back and forth to work).

Charlie said...

You can rack next to my giant at steelhead. We will speak of the cool new retro trend in triathlon. All will be jealous of our "retri" style.
Old school is in.

BTW your car is brand new compared with any I have ever owned. I am glad it takes such good care of you and J-Z.

monica said...

first off, you've done an ironman, so that makes you cool enough to ride a hawt tri bike if you want, but i'm not sayin' you have to...

me, i have a bike that's worth more than my car which isn't saying much cuz it's a '95 volvo wagon, 178k miles...

and ESPRIT means "spirit" in french which you have a ton of to fuel you on whatever you ride, so go on wit ur bad self!!!

Steve Stenzel said...

Ohhh...remember Hypercolor?

Fe-lady said...

'88 Honda accord...great on gas and peppered with TriSports and IM stickers here and there...Hey it's NOT the machine (Hawt bike), it's the MOTOR (you)!

Hummer in the student lot?
That's another "Not even Wrong" addition to my list!
yikes!

Running Jayhawk said...

Bike porn is fun to drool over, but in the end it doesn't matter. I like that you've got the faith and trust in your good ole steed. She/he will continue to get you to the finish line year after year.

Do you have one of those super cute baby buggies for the bike yet?! We'll need photos when that day comes ya know!

Andra Sue said...

Oh dear god. I had THAT shirt! That exact one from the picture. In yellow even. And I think I had a matching denim Coca-cola purse. Yikes. (I like to think my fashion sense has improved since then.)

And your car ROCKS. I'm all about keeping cars forever and driving them into the ground--2001 Honda Accord here, with 110k miles and the best thing about it is that it's PAID FOR. :)

Pharmie said...

I hear ya on the car thing. I was so proud that my bike, even though it was not a super hawt one, was worth more than my car. Then my car got stolen, had too many repairs, and now I have a car that I'm afraid to drive! I miss my '90 Bonneville!

tri-mama said...

'93 toyota minivan- and 92 Geo Tracker both covered in stickers. and I'm glad to hear you succumb to peer pressure...IMAZ still has a few slots remaining- some that you can fund raise the entire entry fee for-just saying...but no pressure :-)

Michelle said...

I'm sometimes tempted by the super fancy bikes, too, but then I think about all the miles I've put on mine, and I get all sentimental, and can't even bear the thought of replacing it. Oh, and there's that little matter of not being able to afford it, either.....

I think you're making the right choice - you've clearly had lots of success with this bike, so why mess with that?

I had a Benneton rugby shirt that I was only able to buy because I got it on clearance at Marshall's, and I wanted to wear that stupid thing EVERY day! I'm so glad that phase of life doesn't last too long....

Jennifer P said...

We had this discussion a few weeks ago at my tri club. My bike is SO entry level and I get jealous (esp. when newbies are buying up Cervelos like mad). One of the coaches said that the bike doesn't make the cyclist. BUT you do have the most kick ass jogging stroller out there and from one tri mama to another -- that's HAWT!

B Bop said...

I've been lurkin' on here for.....a while, and I have to comment on this one.

First off, I pegged my pants when I wore my Coca-cola shirt and I was cool. Don't diss dem shirts.
Second, Unless I sell my car I'll be racking a '91 Trek 1200 @ Steelhead. Third, what's hawt is riding an old ass entry level bike right by someone who's bike cost more than your car.

RunBubbaRun said...

I think I had one of those
coca-cola shirts as well, it was red as well and I thought it was so cool back then.

I will trade you on the car, '97 with 100+ thousand miles on it..

Also yeah, what's up with the Steelhead entry fee, haven't had the nerve to put up the cash for that race yet..

A said...

ohmygod, that photo of the shirt has me giggling so hard I can't type. I totally had that shirt too. Had forgotten alllllll about it, too... til now. Thanks. ha ha! That and the Palmetto jeans were all the rage. That is one era I am happy to forget. You summed it up perfectly, though! Thanks for the chuckles!

Siren said...

OMG I soooo totally had that shirt. But, like, two years after it was cool 'cause we were poor little rednecks livin on a farm and couldn't afford to even think about flourescent OP sweatshirts or the United Overpriced Colors of Benetton. :D I'm glad now though, that I never got sucked into the hype because it's been easier as an adult to tell myself 'no' for frivolous things.

Judi said...

You have to check out my new TT bike. My b/f built if for me, it's about a 3K bike we built for 1500.00. Hope you get one.

IronMatron said...

Okay, was I on Mars during middle school? I've never even seen those Coca Cola shirts! Or is it because I grew up in Maine? Or because I am really old--from the Jordache jean era as opposed to the era of Esprit?

I lust after those cool tri-bikes too. I have to admit that if I had the money...

FYI, did you know the average income of the people entered in the 70.3 Championship in Clearwater was $161,000? Sick!

Taconite Boy said...

So now that your doing IMAZ 08 with Trimama and Kahuna on that hawt and quite sexy bike by raising money for that cool charity Team Ortho, what races are you going to plan for the summer?

You know, since the team ortho spot makes ironman free. Free? Yes free.

Christine said...

I'm from Cleveland...living in Georgia now. COming back for the CLeveland half marathon and hoping to dabble in triathlons this summer too! Oh and my first half marathon in March 30..haha. I have big dreams! Nice to meet someone from C town :)

Josh said...

For what its worth, my bike is a Cannondale made in 1988 and is decidedly not hawt or haute - it is older than most of your students.