Skip to main content

Not so ugly American

I have a confession. The photo at left is a French AGD - attention getting device - that I am using to lure you into my rant for today. I took this photo yesterday near the Louvre while wandering through Paris. But now, on to things related to this blog...

Today was a repeat of yesterday's run, northeast from the hotel about 1.5 miles to Luxenbourg Park. It's a 15 minute jog to gate 4, and the interior loops are about 12-13 minutes each. I did two laps plus a bit more, then headed back for a total of 60 minutes.

I have been pondering the "ugly American" stereotype that prevails. Though I have tried my best as a good German Lutheran raised-boy to be respectful to all, I do believe running may have allowed this American to to rear his (ugly) head.

Streets are busy to and from the park. It feels as if I'm playing human pinball getting through the streets. Sidestepping and lurching from fast to slow is hard on the knees and in many cases I'm dodging second-hand smoke from person to person.

And then the unexpected happens: A patron darts from a shop's doorway into my path. Master competitor jams on the brakes and turns hard left or right. I make the dodge but not before our eyes meet and if looks could kill I'd be on a slab en route to the morgue.

FYI, the class I'm teaching in France - New Trends in Media - is doing its own blog on the trip. I'm quite proud of their work, and though it's not funning related, you may want to take a peek:

www.vivalagators.tumblr.com.

We're off from Paris to Bordeaux. Wine country and more rural running. Au revoir.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Scott Jurek ate vegan, won ultras...then got divorced

(Disclaimer:  I am a Brooks-supported athlete; as part of that relationship, I was provided a complimentary copy of "Eat & Run")

I was recently on a few flights making my way home to Wisconsin and en route was able to plow through Scott Jurek's new book "Eat & Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness."

It's a fast, enjoyable read. I've been around the ultra scene for a long time and have known some of the greats, i.e. ultra champ Eric Clifton. So it's always interesting to see how the world looks from another icon's point of view.

My thoughts in no particular order:

1) I've been vegetarian/borderline vegan for 12 years and have always been concerned with protein intake.  Jurek advocates for the protein he naturally induces through his plant-based diet.  Maybe that is enough. Maybe it's not necessary to bang down 100+ grams of protein supplement every day. Good info and good advice.

2) I'm buying on big time to Scot…

Build your low cost gravel and commuter bike

It's the saga of Craigslist. You have a great perfect condition road bicycle to market. You ask a fair price. A few calls come in, most often the caller throws out a low ball offer, maybe 50% of asking price.

You don't need to give the bike away. You may not need the cash.

Consider re-purposing. You already own an excellent commuter and gravel bike. Think your bike is too low end, not good for the purpose?

Wrong. In most cases less expensive bikes are build with heavier parts, which means they are stronger. Heavier wheels = better ability to absorb commuter bumps and gravel roads.

A few simple modifications and you'll be rolling for transportation or logging road expeditions.

Here's my 2011 model Specialized Roubaix. I rode it for several seasons as a serious piece of road equipment. A few buyers offered up a few hundred dollars, so I went in another direction.

1) Added 700 x 28 Continental Gatorskin tires. Gatorskin tires wear like iron and you can trust them in off …

Now this is better...

Hey, I don't want to dole out too many epic photos in one day...but after that fatty shot from the New York City Marathon, I had to dig a bit deeper, and found this:

Check out that attractive specimen (second from right) circa 1986...only a year earlier and Tommy Terrific was looking pretty ripped.

I'll tell you this triathlon training camp was one of the high points of my master competitor career. On the left is Mark Hinson, the best triathlete in the southeast in the mid 19890's...and far right is Frank Kohlenstein, a soccer coach from South Carolina and the dude who got me into ultrarunning...that's tanned and toned Tommy next to David Bailey, one of the greatest men who ever threw a leg over two wheels with an engine.

So, right around the time of this camp, I crewed for Frank at the Western States 100 mile endurance run in California. Hinson ran with Frank through a very tough 20 mile desert section and when he made it to the next check, he pulled me aside and told…