Rant & Rave: See-through Spandex and Colorado's Wildfire-fighting Ways

June 29 2012, 8:25 AM

Rant: Spandex Bike Shorts

This Wednesday, I seriously considered calling in sick. Not because I was ill, but because it was the annual Bike to Work Day. I hate this “holiday.”

Yes, I know that as a Denverite, that’s a blasphemous statement. I do like bikers. I do like biking. What I can’t abide is what bikers wear. Specifically: Bike shorts—the see-through variety.

Spandex is not a good look. (I thought we learned that in the 80’s?) Especially since those cloying black shorts tend to be a bit translucent when a biker is hunched over. How do I know this? I’m the driver behind you that can’t decide if I should stop and tell you to wrap a jacket around your bum or avert my eyes and speed past. The first option probably earns me a one-finger salute. Actually, now that I think about it, the second one does as well.

I have a few pairs of Spandex-like running tights in my closet and every few weeks, I pose in front of the mirror to make sure that my oh-so-comfortable workout clothes earn a PG-13 rating. If not, I get a new pair. Why don’t more bikers do this? I don’t need to see the brand of underwear you are wearing (or not). Nor should I be able to detect the color of your thong when I’m just trying to commute home after a long day at work.

This annual Bike to Work thing just magnifies the problem. People dust off their bikes—and their Spandex—for their annual commutes. The trouble is that while their ride still works, their Lycra has been deteriorating in a closet and is probably not suitable for public. Instead of a free breakfast in Civic Center Park, I wish someone would pass out new shorts. Until then, I’ll do what I did this year: Ask someone else to drive while I cover my eyes.

Rave: Colorado’s Wildfire-fighting Ways

During the Rockies game on Wednesday night, the crowd exploded in cheers that rocked Coors Field. No, it wasn’t because the Rockies had made a great play. (Did you watch the game? The Nationals had scored eight before the Rockies earned a run.) Instead, the big screen flashed some fans holding up a sign to thank the firefighters. The crowd went nuts.

It was, undoubtedly, the most feel-good moment that Coors Field has seen all season.

Later in the game, I was standing in line with a stranger from the Colorado Springs-area who was waiting to learn if they’d be evacuated from their home. Instead of watching the news, they headed north to Denver to take their minds off of it all. But she was hurrying home after the last pitch to ready her place in case she wasn't evacuated and some of the incoming Air Force Academy cadets—who were arriving for in-processing this week—needed a place to sleep.

I was, happily, stunned. I wished her luck and thanked her for her resilience. She brushed it off, as if her steadfastness was ordinary. Here’s the thing: That ordinary behavior is what has made Coloradans so extraordinary this week. Firefighters. Volunteers. Homeowners. Neighbors. Our Governor. All their small—and big actions—meant that Coors Field had something to cheer about on Wednesday night, even though we could see the smoke clouds in the distance.

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