Lessons at 28.2 miles per hour…

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So earlier this week on Facebook, I came across the LaGuardia High School Bike Club. “How cool,” I thought. “I have a bike, and I’m a LaGuardia alum! I’ll just email them, and perhaps I can join them for a ride.” Stupid Facebook.

Well, as it turns out, the club is only open to current LaG students, but that’s ok – the group leader said he’d be happy to meet me for a ride in the park.

“How cool,” I thought. This will be fun!

“How cool!” always seems to get me into so much trouble.

I mentioned that this is a high school group, right? Average age, 16? Right. OK, just checking.

I’m 35. OK. Just putting that out there.

So at 5:45am this morning, I zoom off on my Felt to the park to meet up with Liam. Nice kid. 17, heading into his senior year. We start off to do a few laps around the park. We start talking, what’s high school like for him now vs. what it was like for me then… (You know, when we dipped our feather quills in the ink holders to write on our parchments…)

I’m able to keep up with him for our first loop around the park. Turns out, that was his warm up loop. As we hit Harlem Hill for the second time, I can’t breathe, and he’s already cresting.

Until today, I’ve never before used, or even thought of using, the word “Whippersnapper.” I had this mental image in my head of my dad looking at my Run-DMC Raising Hell album when I was 15 and shaking his head… Good Lord… I’ve become my dad.

Catching up with Liam at the bottom of the hill, I joke (in a gasping kind of voice), “Just my luck to pick the fastest high school biker in the city.”

“Oh, no, I’m not the fastest,” he responds. “I’m ranked third.”

How this happens to me repeatedly, is beyond me.

Needless to say, by the end of the second lap, I was severely slowing him down. I recommended that we break at 90th St., and he keep going at his pace. I told him to email me the day after a big race for him, and we can do a recovery ride together. (Read: He’ll be recovering, I’ll be busting my ass to keep up.)

So thanks, Liam, for the workout. It felt good. It felt good to get out there and push myself at something other than running. I’m excited to do more of it. Perhaps, though, with someone who was born before 1990.

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