I am notorious for having the perfect (and sometimes not-so perfect) chain grease marks on my legs. My special “kiss” as I call it, is always on my lower calf in a beautiful almost “stencil-like” work of art.
I never TRY to get chain grease on my legs, I actually make attempts to AVOID the little kisses. Some people cycle daily, and never manage to get marks… I just seem to have the gift of messiness. The unfortunate reality associated with chain grease, is that however tough it may look.. it is a bugger to scrub off in the shower. I have actually kept a nice exfoliating scrub in my shower throughout the years specifically for chain grease marks. Sometimes mid way through a long ride I will stop in a convenience store to get a Vitamin Water and will be asked “What happened to you???, Did you fall?? You are covered in chain grease?”. I just smile.
When I am “Gearing up” for a ride, I get enthusiastic.. almost child-like. The little things like chain grease, or the silliness of my pig tails under my ten year old former rental helmet tend to go by the way-side. I lack the spiffy and intense cycling “outfit” that others sport, with matching jerseys and hundred-dollar cycling shorts.. rather, I tend to be the “meh” rider with the clearance rack Pearl Izumi shorts, and top.
I ride because I love it. I ride because I can. A common misconception is often present among my friends that they could never keep up with me because I am far too fast. Nonsense. Although I love speed, I am a slower and more consistent rider. I tend to hover around 16-18 mph on rolling terrain, can happily ride up to 22 on flats, and drop to 8-10 mph on hill climbs.
Let’s say that anyone that competes in competitions would go crazy riding with me…
Tonight, I sit in Starbucks after an incredible day of meetings, and await my husband. We are heading to Sandy Beach in Morris, CT to practice a triathlon route for an event next Friday night (MY 36TH BIRTHDAY!). Out of all three events in a tri, the cycling is my favorite. I honestly hate running. I love swimming, but I am not very fast. When I ride, I feel like my bike is giggling with me.. I often curse big hill climbs, but then rejoice in the down-hills. As I sit cross legged with cute little pumps, a snazzy work dress, and a green ice tea beside me- I look down at my crossed legs and see my chain grease kiss 🙂 Somehow, just loading my bike caused me to get “the kiss”.