5.10.2006

road biking and road rage

will try to spit something out about my post work ride as my boys splash in the tub
thus usually ends up with a soaked
funny enough
I did not get to finish that sentence or that thought
sure enough... grantman was pouring 32 ounces of water onto the floor from the tub at a time
older brother dean was reclining back enjoying the show
hope there is no damage
as we just had the ceiling on the floor below repaired from similar such incidents
enough on the kids
back to the saga at hand

road biking and road rage
normally I ride alone
sure it would be better for me to ride with others
challenge me
push me
help me to challenge myself
help me to push myself
but, a combination of small unknown windows of opportunity and the inability to plan ahead normally prevent me from getting out on the bike with anyone else

today was different
set some tentative things up in advance
firmed things up in late afternoon
a final conversation ahort time before my departure to verify the time
then got stood up while on my way to our point of intersection
cell phones can be handy

just as well
our route was on the Mount Vernon trail
the weather of the day and the time of year had me thinking of out to Great Falls and back
a ride I had not done in too long
the idea of heading down MacArther Blvd. to the parking lot at Great Falls alone rather than riding with my old friend was fine with me
not sure where his fitness is
not sure where my energy is

the bike was feeling fresh
the night prior the drive train got some
tlc
some much needed
tlc
degreased and lubed the drive train after a winter of riding
made this old machine feel next to new
a drive train I have been meaning to replace
but have yet to find the time and a nine speed crankset with a half step
gearing in the area of 38/46 as I have little need for a 52

traffic was congested
the weather was awesome
the commuter traffic seemed extra aggressive
which dictate the tone of the ride
on M Street I shamelessly scanned the sidewalks for eye candy as I split the lanes
the cars had me extra cautious for immediate lane shifts
the few quick glances at the college coeds had me thinking of a line from Breaking Away
the blocks of ended with key bridge on one side and a few bike shops and a liquor store on the other
I cut the lanes and busted a move into left turning traffic
the cars turning into the gas station and the runners on the sidewalk had me in the right hand lane

traffic on this stretch of road moves fast
too fast... consistently over the speed limit fast
rather than riding the gutter and grinding my teeth as each car passed dangerously close
I spun it fast and hard in the center of the right hand land
not even the center
still pulling a tad to the right of center
a few cars pass fast and close in my lane as they went around me
why did they not move entirely into the left hand lane?
I can not read minds... but I think some people like to buzz the cyclist in an effort to give them a message
I was feeling spry
the bike felt good and I felt good as well

ths short stretch of road ended with the traffic that had just aggressively passed me to be blocked up at a dual left hand turn lane
I continued right
attacked the hill hard
then quickly dropped to a turtle pace
cars passed fast as I tried to fade into the left hand lane for a left onto MacArther

here there is a double yellow line
I am forced to ride in the lane rather than the door zone
more cars passing fast and close
not sure of the speed limit
my guess is I am riding closer to the legal limits than the passing cars
a few drivers pass fast only to turn into the neighborhood ahead
while others get passed by me as they stop for the red light

sure I roll through the red...
no time to make that arguement of how I modify the law of the red light viewing it as a yeild sign
not unlike how a car modifies the speed limit with a standard deviation
only I think that people have over extended the parameters of what is a safe modification of the speed

I have already cursed at a few passing cars
the new favorite word is c u n t
not sure why.... but it crept up... and it has stayed
I don't like it, but it is some sort of cyclist road rage induced turrets

read more?

3 comments:

gewilli said...

brilliant write up... damn fine read there my man... damn fine read!

Andrew said...

Joel - that's the route we used to do most mornings in college. I had forgotten some of the details like sprinting on the one lane bridge but you brought me right back there. I haven't ridden that in a long time - probably 14 years. Great writing - I wanted to flip the double bird right there with you.

gwadzilla said...

thanks falk
glad to see that we are on the same page

glad to see you are still checking in