Welcome to our regular Saturday feature “What Aggravates Me”

By Comedian John Knight

This was going to be the year. I was going to do the Pittsburgh Triathlon. I just made the decision that if I didn’t do it now, it would never happen. The training would be grueling, but worth it in the end. I made the decision to not just be satisfied with finishing. I was going to do my best to win.

The triathlon consists of swimming 1500 meters, which is a little over nine-tenths of a mile. Then you bike for 40k or 24.9 miles…I looked this up by the way. I was never able to convert to the metric system. I would have never made it as a drug dealer…Finally, a 10k run, which is 6.2 miles. I was a bit apprehensive when I found out you had to complete it all the same day. It would be much easier over a long weekend wouldn’t it?

Swimming in the Allegheny River is the first event, which seems wrong. You come out of there cold, wet and smelling like the river and now you have to jump on a bike and ride for 25 miles. Then get off the bike and start running. I just think I would be more inspired to jump into the river when I was hot and sweating from the other events.

I suppose the thinking here is that people are less likely to cramp up and sink to the bottom of the Allegheny before running and biking rather than after. If it was up to me, I would switch it around. In fact instead of swimming, why not just a leisurely float in an inner tube while I drink a Yuengling? This way I can cool the parts of my male anatomy that would be burning from rubbing against a bicycle seat for 25 miles.

Since I run all the time, I wasn’t concerned about that part. The biking wouldn’t be much of a problem either, as long as most of it would be downhill. It was the swimming that would be the toughest. My neighbor was gracious enough to let me use his pool for training. Let’s just say he was less than thrilled when I filled it with oil and debris to get myself used to being in the river. Some people don’t understand what it takes to be a “World Class Athlete.”

It doesn’t matter now anyway. The whole event has been canceled because of Penn Dot road construction on the HOV lanes. Really? Penn Dot can’t take a day off for the event? Why not use it for one of the days when all the workers just stand around trying to look busy? You know, like every time I drive by a construction site. They could also use it as a day when nobody shows up. You know, like every other time I drive by a construction site.

There’s also the lane closure method. Have it down to a single bike lane. You could set up a flagger with the “Stop” and “Slow” sign. Then only allow so many bicyclists through at a time. Then switch the sign to “Stop” and let them come through the other way. Whoever has the lead when they get to the flagger is almost guaranteed of winning.

But, it’s not to be. Once again, Penn Dot ruins a summer event in the city. It’s the same as when they close both tunnels and all other access roads in and out of the city during the “Pittsburgh Regatta.” I think it’s all a plot to get people to move to the North Side…I’m sorry, North Shore. When the hell did the North Side become the North Shore anyway? The South Side never became the South Shore.

So now, instead of being engaged in rigorous training this weekend, I will be forced to sit on my deck with a beer and cigar.

“Damn You Penn Dot!”

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