21 June 2009

appearances and perceptions

I found myself in a particularly amusing situation Saturday morning on the group ride (bicycles, not motorcycles) that just kind of got my mind to wondering. Our training group is made up mostly of members of the health profession, doctors, lab assistants, etc....and right now this particular group is all male--except for me of course ;-).

So, we have all these guys in white-collar professions and then there I am-female, heavily tattooed, and a TRUCK DRIVER! It's hilarious to see the new guys' reactions. I've been riding with 3-4 of these guys on a regular basis for little over a year now so they're used to me and know that most of the time I can keep up with them and sometimes even outride them if they're having an off day. But when you throw in a new group of people into the mix that have never met me, there are a few reactions I've come to expect

1) the tattoos-I usually get the "But you don't look like somebody who would have tattoos". A woman that works at the Cotulla fuel stop put it this way--"She has these bad-a** sleeves but a sweet, innocent face so it totally surprises you." Now, it's surprising to me at age 40 to be described as being sweet and innocent but hey, it's kind of a cool compliment, LOL. I look at it this way if I can bring a positive image to tattoos, then maybe there will be a little less narrow-mindedness towards the inked (yeah, I realize I'm kind of dreaming there).

2)female--I try not to put myself in a group that averages anything over 21 mph because right now not counting city riding, I'm in the 18-20 mph average range. However in that group I still get the "Is she going to slow us down?" from guys that haven't ridden with me before. Hey, I may not have those super-nifty fast twitch muscles to sprint with but once I get warmed up, my slow-twitch muscles can usually keep going for however long the ride is. And I do try to keep my complaining to a minimum.

3)truck driver--This one is the most fun.....I always have to explain that yes, I do drive a big truck, no, I don't drive team. Typical questions and I don't think not a single day passes that I'm not asked at least one of those. You throw in a pair of running shoes and/or a bike though and I absolutely love answering them, particularly if I'm able to kick the person's bootie on a run or ride :-). It's just so wickedly funny and cool to watch somebody's facial expressions after finding that out.