Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Just Say No

Steroids and athletes have long been star-crossed lovers. You may recall that in 2006, American cyclist Floyd Landis was stripped of his Tour de France victory because he tested positive for doping. So it is with no small amount of shame that I admit to entering into a similar ill-fated relationship with the steroid, methylpred. I blame it not on my trainer, but on my dentist, who prescribed the drug after I underwent some minor oral surgery.

I had hoped that the steroids would do for my cycling what they did for Alex Rodriguez and Roger Clemens, but I still throw like a girl and I can't hit. To make matters worse, my dentist said that any activity that would accelerate my heart rate was off-limits. Squishing my head into my helmet accelerates my heart rate, so actual pedaling was out of the question.

So much for the benefits of performance-enhancing drugs. I'm pretty sure my steroids were faulty, anyway. I nearly broke down crying in Staples (the selection of 3 X 5 index cards seemed to be wanting) and then I chased two people down the road because they neglected to pick up their dog poop.

In light of my altered state, I decided to play it safe and post some cycling websites. There are many more, but here are some samples. Their links are listed on the left.

The Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) promotes bicycling for fun, commuting, and fitness, and focuses on how increased cycling contributes to a more livable environment. WABA is an advocate for cyclists and educates cyclists and motorists of all ages about riding safely.

Bike Arlington (BA) is dedicated to encouraging people to ride their bikes. The website is large and comprehensive, and includes information about commuting by bike (bike-on-bus, bike-on-rail), cycling laws, maps, and much more.

Bike and Brunch (B&B) is a group of Jewish and mainly single cyclists. They ride on Sundays from April through November. B&B's website has membership instructions and describes some of the group's favorite rides.

Babes on Bikes (BOB) is a group of DC-area women who ride together regularly. BOB's website provides information about its Monday, Wednesday, and Friday rides as well as some Babe poetry and useful links, among other things.

Brother to Brother Sister to Sister United is a predominantly African-American non-profit cycling team whose primary mission is to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS and to raise money that is used to educate people in the DC metro area about HIV/AIDS and other health-related issues.

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