The older picture of me referred to in the title doesn’t have a bike in it. Therefore, if you want to get all nit-picky about it, you could say it should not have been posted here. I wouldn’t even argue with you because, using the most strict interpretation of Cycle365 bylaws, you’d be right. However, I’m going to take advantage of the flexibility and goodwill of our little community to display it anyway.
Plus, don’t forget that the instructions for the challenge DO provide for telling a story in lieu of a picture, and I DO have a story, and I DO have pictures too, and eventually I will use them to make a connection to cycling, specious though it may be.
Let’s start with the before and after picture:
Now the story:
Once upon a time, I was a pretty good high school wrestler and then a not-so-good college wrestler. The only thing that made me an EXCEPTIONAL wrestler at all levels is that I rode my bike to wrestling practice. I know none of my teammates could make that claim and I’m willing to bet that very few of my opponents could either–even the elite ones.
But that’s not all. Another connection I can make between my wrestling and cycling careers is that my bike got stolen outside of Northern Michigan University’s athletic facility while I was at wrestling practice. I loved that 10-speed bike and I desperately wanted to find the thief and strangle him.
In the last couple days I’ve seen at least a couple of Cycle365-ers have an appreciation for comedic films of the 1980s and 1990’s. Just now, I recalled a scene from Fast Times At Ridgemont High that kind of relates to the stolen bike predicament. Unlike Forest Whitaker (Jefferson), who turned his rage over the loss of his car into improved performance as a linebacker, I failed to turn my rage over the loss of my bike into becoming a better wrestler.
I should have pictured every future opponent as the dude who stole my bike and tore him apart on the wrestling mat. Instead, I quit wrestling after my freshman year and decided to focus on academics. I never gave up biking though. Somehow, I managed to funnel some of my college loan money and work-study earnings into the purchase of a new Motobecane road bike.
Here comes another wrestling/biking picture: