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Back in the Saddle

by on July 15, 2013

Friday’s ride was a bust because of active lightning.  There are mixed reviews about whether or not riding is safe during a lightening storm.  I concluded it was not and chose not to test it.  I’ll have another post later about lightning and cycling.  Several of us drove to breakfast.  Two of our group rode in the storm.

So now it has been three days with no riding and I was ready to get back on the bike.  These past two weeks have been very consistent with conditions.  Humid.  Temperatures between 73 & 77.  Slowly getting darker.  We had 8 riders out this morning and two different speeds going, so we broke up into two different groups.  I had to work more than expected to stay with the faster group on the first half of the ride, but after setting that pace, it seemed easier the second half.

Our route is routine.  We know the potholes.  The only real variables are where we will encounter “traffic” on the trail and vehicles on the road.  Rarely do we encounter disrespectful drivers, but one was out this morning.  We were riding at about 20 mph in a 35 mph zone.  There are rolling hills and a no passing zone because of poor sight lines.  I called “car back” and we started negotiating the sometimes tricky maneuver moving from riding two abreast to single file while avoiding the road hazards.  The car had to slow for perhaps 10- 15 seconds while this took place (and I’m sure I’m overestimating the time here).  As we crested the rise, and it was clear no other vehicles were approaching, the car accelerated hard, and the driver blew the horn in a continuous blast lasting about 5 seconds, the time it took for him to overtake us and return to the travel lane.  Nearly every one of us just slowly shook our heads from side to side.

How would you like to live in a home near there, with horns blaring before 6:30 in the morning?  Whose fault was all this?  I’m sure the driver blames us.  We hear the blame often.  But, come on … at most 20 seconds of “delay”.  The garbage truck traffic on that route on Thursdays does more to delay traffic than this.  Will the horn change our behavior?  Not in the least.  We watch for approaching cars and move as far right as is safe in single file when a car approaches from the rear.  We are grateful to share the road.  A little patience for all keeps us all safe.  And our reaction to all this is simply a sigh, a shake of the head, and usually a comment like, “really?” or “have a nice day.”  Riders on bikes (around 200 lbs and mostly flesh and blood) are no match for 2,000 + lbs of metal and plastic.  We know that.

This Ride: 22.3 miles
Malaria Campaign: 856.2 miles
Funds Pledged: $428.10
Contributed in support: $1,437.60

Total = $1,865.70

 

 

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From → Cycling

One Comment
  1. I think you were very wise not to test the lightning. The problem with that sort of experiment is a negative result does not mean that all rides will be safe and a positive result, while more conclusive, pretty much ruins your day.

    As for the car horn, I believe there is something very deep in our psyches that drives this emotion. It is not rational and therefore appeals to the legality of being on the road or reviewing how little time is lost won’t succeed. Whereas everyone has trash and thus understands a trash truck is a necessary nuissance, a cyclist is viewed as a VERY unnecessary nuisance, one that could easily pursue is silly hobby somewhere else, or at the very least not ride side by side and thus clog up the road for people who have to go to work and earn a living.

    Is that far or rational? Hardly, but I think that’s about as close as I’ve come to understanding the mindset of thousands of drivers in our area.

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