Off the couch, pickle ear and low-landers

Off the couch, pickle ear and low-landers

Dear Rachel,

Oh crap, it’s nearly Iron Horse Bicycle Classic time. I’ve been saying for years I’m going to do this. But I never catch the registration and it sells out. I still got a week-plus to train, though, and I could steal someone’s number. No one but you would know I didn’t pay. What do you think? Go for broke before Memorial Day and check off the big bucket list item?

– Steel Stallion

Dear Tin Mule,

Heck yes. The Iron Horse needs more woefully underprepared people to keep it interesting. My friends and I used to go sit on the side of the road with cowbells and Bloody Marys in Nalgene bottles, and not once did we see some dude completely bonk in the Animas Valley before even reaching the incline to Purg. That’s what we came to see: some normal person really demonstrating how hard it actually is to ride over mountains. So yes, please set that bar for all of us.

– Giddyup, Rachel


Dear Rachel,

Wack, wack, wack. The sound of pickleball. Do you think insurance companies will deny coverage for hearing loss for pickleball players? I think that a warning will be given when buying the gear to play. Do our rates go up to cover the bangers? Or will someone make a special ear plug for the sport… hey what an idea. Hello, Nike?

– Line Judge

Dear Wack Job,

Insurance companies will deny coverage, period. But it’s not ears they’re worried about. It’s knees. I know more people with serious knee injuries from playing pickleball than from skiing and falling down while rock climbing COMBINED. Makes me think what they really ought to start covering is people taking pickleballs to the head. Unless this craze is itself a pre-existing condition. It would explain a lot…

– Pickle this, Rachel


Dear Rachel,

I really don’t understand altitude sickness. Like, I climb a mountain and gain 6,000 feet, and I don’t get headaches and need to lie down. But my in-laws come to town from Arizona and they spend the whole weekend wheezing and griping. They can’t even walk down Main with us. I think it’s just an excuse, but my husband defends their adjustment period. Is this whole thing overblown, or am I blowing it?

– Attitude Sickness

Dear High Horse,

Yes, altitude sickness is real… and so is general fitness… and so is youth. Unless you got a real PornHub kind of family going on, your in-laws have probably 20 or 40 years on you, and they probably don’t regularly hike 14ers for fun. You, my friend, are acclimated and resilient. Leave them be. Or else sign them up for the Iron Horse, and kill them. Either way, you can stop accusing them of faking it.

– Speaking of faking it, Rachel

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