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Clowny trip to Annapolis

by on August 3, 2010

This Ride: 23.8 miles
Kona Distance: 2,415.4 miles
Month to date: 76.5 miles
2010 Total: 2,881.9 miles
Pace to 5,254.8 mile goal in 2010: (19.5 miles ahead of goal pace)

Were people really trying to be foolish this morning?  Clowns are” fools” in the classic meaning of the word “fools”.  But this morning there seemed to be more foolish people out than I’ve seen in a long time.

I left the house at 5:30 this morning, and traveled roadways for my first 3 miles.  Before I had gone a mile and a half, I glanced up and noticed a dark shadow ahead.  A helmetless cyclist wearing dark clothes with no lights or reflectors on a cruiser was traveling toward me on the “wrong side” of the roadway, grinning ear to ear.  I recognized him.  His girlfriend lives down the street from us.  I used this “incident” to sharpen my awareness for the morning ride, and in some ways I’m sorry I did.

I saw more helmetless riders than usual on the trail this morning.  There were more people with music earbuds in both ears with the music cranked up loud enough that I could hear it as I passed, but they couldn’t hear me call out that I was passing.  (Yesterday I read about a collision between a jogger and a biker in DC.  The jogger made an abrupt U-turn on the trail without realizing that a cyclist was passing on the left.  It was a nasty collision requiring treatment at a hospital.)  There were cyclists on the trail with no headlights and some with no taillights.  Even cars were traveling this morning without headlights or only parking lights.  Ok, enough grumbling.

Maybe the grumbling  is because I’ve decided on a lighting system for my headlights and I’m really focused on seeing and being seen.  The small headlight I have is fine to keep me visible, but it is not strong enough to illumine the path in the darkness.  Civil twilight is 5:38 am right now, and I’m riding at 5:30.  It is only going to get darker as we move toward fall.  I think I’ll get Bike Doctor to order me one today.  Yesterday they didn’t have the model I want in stock.

My intent was to get 25 miles in this morning, but I underestimated the route.  I rode into Annapolis, using our Friday morning path, but forgot to add the distance to the Rusty Bridge.  That put me just over a mile short.  I had a nice pace, and I’m doing well enough with this that I may decide to ride with the peloton on these fast days, at least part of the way.  (The past two weeks, my solo rides have averaged at least 17 mph or better.)  I still need to be focused on the miles, but there is no better way to increase my speed than to ride with others who are pushing me to go faster.

I had hoped for a nice colorful sunrise this morning to lift my spirits.  The clouds were too thick.  I settled for clear evidence of my improving ability to climb hills and a fast finish to the ride.

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From → Cycling

4 Comments
  1. For what it’s worth, a blog-friend of mine recently recommended the Magic Shine bicycle lamp. It’s expensive, but appears to be quite impressive. I haven’t bought one, so I cannot personally verify its quality.

    http://magicshine.us.com/

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