To look at me, you may not guess that I am roughly 41.59 years old. For, even in my middle age, I remain ruggedly handsome. My shoulders are not especially hunched, I keep my ear hair neatly trimmed, my goiter is hardly noticeable, and I have no receding hairline (which is to say, I have no hairline whatsoever).
It will no doubt surprise you, therefore, that I am beginning to feel the effects of age.
The most obvious of these effects is my eyesight. I have become nearsighted, and I am becoming nearer-sighted. It makes me think that maybe I should look into lasiks. This seems like a sound investment, because I have noticed, multiple times, that all else being equal it is preferable to be able to see where you are riding your bike.
But if I upgrade my eyes, it seems a tragedy to just correct them back to how they were in the first place. That would be like replacing the broken derailleur on your bike with the exact same kind of derailleur.
Which, I think can safely be said, has never happened in the history of the world.
So, if / when I get my eyes operated on, I’m going to ask to have the following optional features added. You know, as long as they’re under the hood.
- Eagle Eyes: I don’t want to have merely have 20/20 vision. I want to have 20/10,000 vision. Which is to say, I want to be able to see approximately two miles off into the distance.
- Transition + Polarization Eyes : I don’t want to have to wear sunglasses. When it’s bright outside, I want my irises to turn dark. Also, having polarized eyes will cut down on glare, which should be helpful, although it could make looking at certain gadgets with LCD screens problematic. I can live with that.
- Laser Eyes: I want to be able to cast a laser dot onto whatever I’m looking at, at will. This will be helpful not just when I’m giving business presentations, but when I’m discussing a technical move with my mountain biking buddies. “Go over that rock,” I would say, beaming a laser dot at the rock in question, “then thread between those two tree roots” (indicating tree roots with my eyeball-mounted laser), and then avoid that loose spot. I would also like the laser to be powerful enough to melt rubber if I so choose, because I can imagine instances when that would be handy, especially in races.
But why stop with my eyes? I don’t see any reason why I shouldn’t make additional upgrades to my body to enhance my cycling experience. Here’s what I’m considering:
- Second Heart, Third Lung: In many ways, cycling is a contest between your lungs, heart, and legs. Can your lungs breathe fast enough to get a good steady supply of oxygen to your bloodstream? Can your heart beat fast enough to keep that fresh supply of oxygen in your legs? Can your legs go fast enough that demand equals supply? In my case, my heart and lungs seem to always reach their limit first. So I’m going to get an extra one of each. I may have to make some other changes to accommodate — a larger ribcage is the most obvious — but I think they’ll be well worth the effort.
- Second Adrenal Gland: There’s nothing like a rush of adrenaline to give you a boost in a sprint. Sadly, my supply of adrenaline seems to be limited. So I’m getting a second adrenal gland. I’m also considering having it wired so I can punch a button to trigger it. Which, incidentally, I plan to do three or four times per minute.
- Third Testicle: I admit to having mixed feelings about this one. There’s no doubt that the extra testosterone would be welcome when I am trying to build the resolve to try tricky, potentially life-threatening, moves my head knows are completely insane. And I like the idea of being able to say — accurately and honestly — that I have a lot of balls. But then I think about the issue of comfort, and I begin to question the wisdom of this upgrade. Plus, I’d probably always be getting into barfights.
- Fat Head: I am going to have all the fat moved from my stomach to under my scalp, creating a natural helmet. My head will unfortunately look like a giant fleshlike mushroom, but hey, I’m already married. It’s not like I need to attract the ladies anymore.
- Kevlar Contact Points: I suppose my natural skin does an OK job of making calluses for where my body touches the bike — hands, feet, and butt — but any time I go on a really long ride, I wind up with blisters on all three spots. These hurt. Which is why I’m going to have the skin on my palms, my butt, and the bottoms of my feet replaced with kevlar. I have not yet decided whether I want to spring for the “skin-colored” or “carbon fiber-colored” option. Both sound pretty cool.
These are, of course, just a few of the personal upgrades a serious cyclist might consider, but I don’t want to go overboard. Hey, I want to keep it real.
PS: Fight Cancer, Win a Bike
This weekend is the “Frozen Hog” bike race close to where I live. I’m really pleased that, in honor of my wife’s fight against breast cancer, the organizers are raffling off two Marin Hamilton 29er townie / mountain bikes. One will be for locals, with the proceeds going to the Huntsman Cancer Institute (which took incredible care of my wife during her recent hip replacement surgery) and one for Fat Cyclist readers, with proceeds going to the Lance Armstrong Foundation.
It’s very easy to get a raffle ticket. Just donate to the Lance Armstrong Foundation, then forward the email confirmation to me.
A bunch of you have already sent in your raffle entries, which I hugely appreciate.
If you haven’t donated yet, though, you still have time. You’ll be doing something good and important, and you’ll have a much better chance at winning a bike than you would in most raffles. Click here for more information, OK?