Dear Unhopeful Rouleur,
What with the weather, my pneumonia, and a lot of stress at work and at home, I've put on a little weight. Okay, I'll be honest. I weigh nearly as much as you do now, except instead of being a fat 6'0", I'm a gargantuan 5'3". Do you think there's any hope for me? Please hurry up and send advice. I can barely get close enough to the desk to log on to my email and if I gain 5 more pounds, you'll have to reply by Western Union.
Luke T. Fisk, Burgenbjorgensfjord, Norway
In a word, no. You are screwed. You are probably too fat to get on a bike. I know this because I damn sure am, and I'm nearly three shortstacks of flapjacks with a big blob of whipped cream on top taller than you. Still, you probably shouldn't give up and may want to consider doing some long, slow distance rides over the next month or so, along with some dieting. By "dieting" I mean eating nothing except for vitamins and an occasional cucumber slice, and paying a Serbian expat accused of warcrimes to stand near your refrigerator and insult, kick or stab you if you try to extract some food from it.
On the other hand, if that seems too tough for you, I can think of some things that should be easier to do. You could wallow in self pity all day long, piss and moan about how fat and slow you are, or go out and get some Taco Bell. I hear they're open until after midnight. If it matters, your predicament is no different than about 20% of all East Coast roadracers right now, most of whom are looking into bariatric surgery or a stint with the Peace Corps as a developing world food source, as a solution to their problems.
I hope this helps.
~ the Rotund Rouleur
Ps. You're under pressure at work because you suck at your job, you should consider long term unemployment as an alternative. You are perceptive about the chill at home, that's because your wife is cheating on you with an Italian pro who is riding out a domestic doping ban by riding under an assumed name as a Cat 4 on a local team - and yes, he's both better on the bike, and better in bed than you are. And you only have pneumonia because the general deterioration in your health from your undiagnosed tertiary syphilis is causing you all sorts of problems. You shouldn't have taken that "business trip" to Thailand a couple years ago, pal. Consider eating a salad for lunch today. And no, I don't mean a taco salad, which is God's answer to the question, "how many calories can we fit into a salad?"
Dear Unglaublich Rouleur,
It's time for me to purchase a new bike. I'm considering getting one of three bikes, a Colnago C-50 Extreme Power, a Cervelo Soloist, or a Pinarello Prince. I like the stiffness and style of the Colnago, the functionality of the Cervelo and the high tech looks, and the quirky style and smooth ride of the Pinarello. Which one should I buy?
S. Meagma, Springfield VA
I recommend you get a BikeFriday folding commuter bike, preferably the one with the three speed, internally geared Rohloff hub. Basically, if your new bike hasn't been the object of sick sexual fantasies for you over the last two years, you haven't earned the right to call yourself a roadie. Those aren't bikes you are looking at, they are lust objects. Your inability to recognize this and act accordingly demonstrates your manifest unworthiness to ride any one of them.
Problem solved? I think so.
Dear Unspeakable Roleur,
I race for a prominent local club, on its women's team. I'm kind of hot for one of the boys on the club's elite team. He's so dreamy looking, and unattached (he doesn't even have a girlfriend!) but he totally doesn't seem to be into me at all. This is distressing to me because he made some overtures last fall (resulting in me killing myself to catch up to him on hard club rides to chat), but now nothing has happened. What should I do?
Virginia Dentata, Fairfax
First of all, you didn't mention what kind of racing your would-be Casanova does. Is he a roadracer? If so, then in society's eyes, he's presumptively gay. We both know he probably isn't gay, but this is a lie you can tell yourself and your non-riding girlfriends to explain why he doesn't dig you. It's easier than admitting the fact that you just aren't that attractive, despite your ability to walk upright, turn the pedals, and communicate in something that closely resembles speech.
In the alternative, is he a mountain biker? If so, then in roadies' eyes, he's presumptively a stoner-slacker, and not half as interested in chicks as he is in getting stoned, and the latest issue of Dirt Rag. We both know that stereotype isn't (always) true, but this is a lie you can tell yourself and the people on your team to explain why he doesn't dig you.
Third, I think I know who you are. Allocate 15% of your personal hygiene time to plucking your monobrow, shaving your moustache, and using some Listerine. It probably won't help you land this guy, because we both know he's a gay stoner who just isn't that into you, but it may significantly improve your chances to reproduce with *somebody* of the opposite sex.
I'm positive this will help.
Ps. You can always resort to hanging out in bars and getting desperate looking dudes all liquored up. What's good for the goose...
Dear Unwise Rouleur,
I ride on the elite team of a local velo club, and I sometimes race mountain bikes too. Lately, I've been sort of creeped out by this chick on my club who is stalking me. If you look at her from a distance, she's got nice legs and a cute little butt, and in the right light (little to none) she's pretty. I kind of thought I was hot for her last fall but every time I slowed down long enough for her to catch up to me on the club's weekly recovery ride, I noticed she has more facial and body hair than Chewbacca, and breath like she subsists from eating the lower intestines out of rotting skunk corpses. Admittedly, she rides a bike competitively, which would make her the ultimate mate compared to my ex-wife, who resented being left alone for 18-22 hours/week with our six kids while I trained obsessively. So I'm kind of considering it. But Bruce, my roommate and particularly close friend, not that there's anything wrong with that, thinks this is a silly idea and it would cut into my recovery time, which is now generally taken up with watching gay porn and getting stoned to the bejeezus while Bruce rubs my sore legs. Plus maybe I'm just not that into her.
Any advice you can offer would be helpful.
Serge Goesdown, Adams Morgan
I say go out with her. Who could it hurt? Plus, isn't there something you're not admitting to yourself, Serge?
Yes, that's right. I think you deserve a new bike. I highly recommend anything in the Cervelo line. You've earned it.
Ps. Seriously, just go out and have some drinks with her sometime. I'm sure that will give you a chance to figure out whether you're truly attracted to her. It wouldn't be the dumbest way a relationship has ever started. I'm positive this will clear up any confusion on your part. No need for thanks; I love helping out bi-cyclists where I can.