I'm doing a little bit of business travel right now sitting in the Holiday Inn in McKinney, Texas, just north of Dallas. I have to say, the rooms in this hotel are simply marvelous; it's one of the nicest places I've ever stayed, and believe me, I've stayed in some damn fine hotels around the U.S. and elsewhere in the world. Simple rooms, sublime mattresses on the beds, a Japanese/Prairie style decor... Lovely. Awesome food here too, with a good sushi restaurant just around the corner, and yes, steakhouses galore. I like Texas...
It's tough on riders though. I thought of renting a bike but the roadies I've seen don't look happy. The weather has been in the low 100s here, and guys who look like they should be total hammerheads, in team jerseys, pedal along like cockroaches that have been dosed with Raid... slowly, uncomfortably, with great effort, like some june bugs ate the last of the cornbread crums and there's nothing left but some coumadin. It's also flatter than a North Dakota accent around here.
So I hit the hotel gym. It's minimalist with three or four cardio machines and a few Universal machines. And a huge freakin' big screen. So I did about an hour on the elliptical trainer. A thousand calories later, I was out of there. I hadn't done that in several years - hanging out there in epic mundane fashion reminded me why I love riding. 20 years of life as a gym rat - either running or pumping iron to get fit for rugby - burned me out on hanging in gyms. And while ESPN Sportcenter was lovely, the 'running' got monotonous pretty quick. Still, with all the foot issues I've had lately I was exceedingly grateful to be able to use the elliptical at all with only moderate foot pain. Gotta be grateful for what I can get.
Tomorrow I'm heading toward Austin. I hope to check out Mellow Johnnies at some point, maybe see if I can score some T-shirts or something. Maybe I'll run into Lance himself. If so, I'll have to ask: "If you were forced to choose and could hit only one of the Olson twins... "