“Do you want a pair of Zipp wheels?”
Finished with my swim, wiggling my toes into my flip flops, the only thing in the world I wanted was a soak in the hot tub… until the stranger in the next lane caught my attention with this simple question. I forgot about the hot tub entirely. Did I want a pair of Zipp wheels? Do fish have fins? Is the sky blue? Only hours prior to this moment I was looking on Denver and Boulder Craigslist for a used pair. Was he psychic?? Did my thoughts enter his brain through hydro-osmosis?
“How did you know?” I asked, mystified.
“Everyone wants a pair of Zipp wheels,” he responded, smugly. Hmmm. His logic was elusive. I still didn’t really get how he knew by seeing me in the pool for 5 minutes that I would want a pair of fancy aerodynamic race wheels. Maybe my Endorfun racing systems swim cap gave me away. Or perhaps it was my Colorado Multisport water bottle sitting poolside that tipped him off. How he knew I wanted them was inconsequential though, for I did want them, and badly.
“Do you have them in 650’s?” I asked.
“650’s!!! Who rides 650’s!?” he sneered.
“People who are 5 feet tall. You can’t find a carbon fiber time trial bike for someone my size with a 700c wheelset. Believe me, I looked.”
“Carbon fiber?” he scoffed, “What do you need a carbon fiber bike for?” He chuckled and shook his head, like I was a precocious first grader embarking on the first page of “War and Peace.”
What do I need a carbon fiber bike for? This was a good question, one that I spent a lot of time thinking about before I plunked down the money for one last summer…
I wanted one
I did an ironman
I am doing another one
I already had an aluminum bike
I wanted one
I love it more than I’ve loved any inanimate object
It’s orange and blue
I wanted it so badly
I was able to afford it
I adore it like its my baby
That’s what I need a carbon fiber bike for. Meanwhile I was shocked by this guy’s audacity. Only moments before, I kindly moved to the other lane per his request so he could hook himself up to some leash-like thing and swim while it was attached on one end to the edge of the pool and on the other to his body, and now he is calling me out on my bike choice!? Who did this leashed man think he was!? I paused for a second and said, “Never mind, I don’t do business with people who laugh at me.” I turned on my flip flops and headed toward the hot tub, fuming.
Once settled comfortably with jets at my back and my feet, I turned to Dan,
“Do you believe that!? Who does he think he is!!!???”
He seemed to believe it. He asked me why I would let this guy bother me. I just couldn’t get my head around a perfect stranger criticizing me to my face about something that was so obviously none of his business.
But later, it occurred to me. This guy was my inner demon, personified. Once a little voice in my head, now a speedo-clad man who willingly chained himself to a leash at the Rec Center… He was the living breathing version of the voice in my head that harasses me occasionally, saying nasty things, like:
Do you really think you’re fast enough for that fancy bike?
All the other triathletes and cyclists will laugh at you.
You’re too slow for something as light and aerodynamic as this.
Somehow this guy figured out how to push my buttons. Maybe he was psychic after all. After I solved the mystery of why I was so mad, I calmed down a little. And I pondered the whole thing a little more… When that stupid stranger rattled me, I ignored him and walked away. Then I got super mad. (Not to his face, but rather I unleashed my fury in retelling the story to Dan while he was trying to relax in the hot tub). And then I finally realized how ridiculous it is to say things to myself that are not acceptable from a stranger. Starting now there is a new rule in Casa de Pam: No more saying mean things to self, specifically re: bike. I feel better already.
But I will feel even better when I get my race wheels. If you should know of a used pair of 650c wheels for sale please do let me know.