Watching how the mainstream media deals with the subject of cycling never ceases to be entertaining. We feel so normal when we’re around each other, but don’t fool yourselves; we are still viewed as total freaks by the majority of people. This abc News story about a heart attack survivin’, cyclocrossin’ grandma from Bennet, Nebraska does a great job illustrating that fact. It’s worth sitting through the solid, minute-long advertisement before the story begins to hear lines like:
“It’s a bike race that pairs obstacles with rough terrain known as cyclocross. The physically demanding sport probably isn’t the place you’d expect to see a 68-year-old former school teacher and church organ playing grandma.”
It kind of makes it sound like cyclocross is the Devil’s work…or sport, as the case may be. “Oh my! A former school teacher and church organ playin’ grandma shouldn’t be doin’ that — gettin’ off a perfectly good bicycle and running with it…blasphemy!” While anyone who’s done some ‘cross will tell you, it can be hell, it’s probably not going to get you sent to hell. Maybe I’m reading to much into this.
Nancy Brown, the subject of the piece, is inspirational. At the opening of the video she states “Y’know, if you’re gonna be on the bike you might as well, y’know, go and see if you can beat somebody.” That’s pretty awesome. What’s more awesome is the part where she talks about smashing her teeth out, spitting them in her hand, and throwing them, to the horror of one of her competitors.
OK, that last part is entirely freaky.