lördag, april 28, 2007

Cycling muppets all around the world

No matter where you go they are there. The men and women I am talking about are sometimes given away by their shaved legs on an otherwise hairy body (I know, I am a bit obsessed with this shaving thing). Sometimes it is more obvious when they cruise around town in their pro outfit on a brand new bike.

Today I met some cycling muppets here in Zambia. It was a bunch of French people and a couple of Americans. It was in connection with the American School Triathlon which I have told you about in a previous post (I won by the way, but that is not the focus of this post).

One of the shaved legged boys told me he just had surgery and has not been able to start training yet. When I commented that he still keeps his legs shaved he answered: “Of course, I always shave them, it makes me feel like I am in shape”. Need I say more?

It turns out that there is a road biking club here in Lusaka and competitions take place regularly. Wow, I lived in this country for 18 months 2004/2005 and I had no idea about this. Sure, I have seen the occasional road cyclist but I did not think there was any organized cycling taking place. There are even a few teams sponsored by the local sugar company, a coffee producer etc.

And apparently they are pretty good. One of the guys I met today, Rick, told me that a couple of weeks ago they had a race over 120 kilometers and the average speed was 42.7 km/h. Quite impressive I must say.

So there is no question about it now. Next time I come down (October/November) I will bring my own bike and test my capacity with the tough Zambian boys. I might not compete in the A class, it seems a bit too tough, but for sure I will try the B class where pace is a bit more moderate. Or what the heck, if summer training proves successful enough perhaps I should go with the A-team after all.

Now I have training buddies for the remainder of my stay. We will go cycling tomorrow, Tuesday and Thursday. And I was worried before that I would come back from Zambia out of shape! It might be the exact opposite. It is comforting to know that the muppets are there no matter where you go. Because if you can find so many cycling fanatics in Zambia it should not be any problem finding them anywhere else.

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