A headline in a news story read as follows: Does this city make my butt look big?
You probably had that thought the first time you put on the spandex! The theme of the article was how people are influenced by the area of the country they live in and what are deemed acceptable modifications to the human body. It was about peer pressure and influence. We all know about surgical modifications to reduce this, lift that, tuck this, boost that, implant where nature didn’t, and reduce where nature over-supplied. The temptation to go ‘under the knife’ apparently is great depending on where you live. One thing is for sure: body sculpting via surgery will certainly trim a fat wallet. In case you are wondering, the interest in derriere implants and tummy tucks is highest in
A more ominous sounding heading, ‘Invasion,’ found in another story, illustrates this insidious nature of human existence to conform to your peers. The accompanying photographs were quite revealing. There were all kinds of shapes and sizes and a broad range of ages from the very young to the vintage humanoid. The countenances were remarkable. Had the Body Snatchers arrived? The author is quoted as saying: “They munch their way through scores of miles daily and nest each night on the edge of towns, mixing amiably with the locals. Described as healthy and almost universally happy, they feed upon normal human food—but appear oddly partial to bananas. Beware their infectious camaraderie and invitations to joint the hive. Reports are that once doing so, you’re hooked1.” Nesting? Hives? Human food or humans as food? Are these people-creatures for real? Who are they? They’re bicyclists participating in group rides such as Cycle Oregon of Bicycle
Now I ask you to compare the narcissistic beauty put forth in the first paragraph to the inner beauty that shines through in paragraph number two. There isn’t a surgery invented that competes with number two. For that matter, the cost of body-modification surgery would certainly provide a nice set of wheels and a few bike trips to boot. And I would wager while propelling one’s self via muscle power down the road any thoughts of imperfections in physical structure aren’t even on the scope. Sure, your aching leg muscles may remind you that you are somewhat out of shape. Maybe the gray skies have shaded the inner workings of your brain. There is a cure for this: Join the hive and ride!
1 Adventure Cycling, February 2010.
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