Tuesday, February 2, 2010

LOOSE ENDS AND MISCELLANEOUS THOUGHTS…

When last I posted, I was attempting, in my own way, to “make lemonade out of lemons”. The weather and road conditions were such then that being a roadie didn’t work out so well. At the end of that post, I threw it over to Bro Dave out on the west coast so that at least one member of the clan would get in some riding time. Here is his report:

 

“Well, my ride didn't happen. I got dressed, filled up my water bladder and headed out to top the tires off with air and discovered that my rear tire had developed some nasty blisters. I can only guess that they are a result of the Stan's No Tubes sealant that I have used. I can't imagine anything else causing that. Oh well. I guess I'll be buying some new tires with my REI gift certificate!”

BubblyTire

 

Bro Dave went on to later report that he was unable to find some tubeless tires at his local REI so he tried some with tubes. Unfortunately, that didn’t work either so he’s back to making a trip to the Santa Monica REI. In the meantime, his supervisor, BoBo, took the opportunity to do some serious thinking on the issue as shown in the following image submitted by Bro Dave:

BoBoSupervising(Yep, looks like some serious contemplating going on here!)

 

An Unpleasant Interlude With A Cyclist…

I would be willing to be that, if you read 10 blogs on cycling,  at least 8 of them would feature a comment or story about bad dangerous behavior by motorists when intersecting with cyclists. On a much less frequent occurrence, you’ll also find those same blogs reporting on the negative behavior of cyclists, i.e., BikinginLA Feb 1st post). Clearly, in larger cities like Los Angeles there are simply many more cyclists and much, much more traffic so you get much more frequent negative interactions.

Living here in my area, the instances of negative interaction between cyclists and motorists are not a daily event or even an hourly event as it seems it must be in L.A. and other urban areas. Even Asheville, NC  only 28 miles to my east seems to have a high frequency of negative cyclist/motorists encounters.  Generally speaking, I encounter few hostile and/or dangerous motorists when I ride and find that most motorists are pretty accommodating.  Yes, there are certainly those jerks who want to assault you with verbage and/or liquids in cups and bottles but they are in the minority.

This past Sunday I found myself in somewhat of a role reversal when my “best half” and I were out in our Ford Escape making a run to get some gas and supplies. It was our first trip off the mountain since Friday’s snow storm. The roads were and continue to be packed with piled snow and ice where they have been scraped clear. Shoulders are non-existent.

We were travelling southwest into the mid-afternoon sun when I spotted two cyclists up ahead. My first thought was “I wonder who is out riding in this mess?” As we proceeded on, I realized that the cyclists were not only coming toward us but were travelling in our lane of travel. I noted one vehicle whip out into the oncoming lane of travel to avoid them and then realized that not only were they coming toward us but they were riding pretty much down the center of the lane of travel in my direction. I began braking from what, fortunately, was a pretty slow speed.

The lead rider began waving his arms at me to get over, i.e., move into the wrong lane of travel. He was close enough to me that I could see his face turning red and him mouthing at us. I then realized that the second cyclist was a young girl appearing to be about 7 years old on her bicycle. She was riding without a helmet as was the lead rider, who looked to be at least in his 40’s and maybe older. My deduction was that this father was leading his daughter on a bicycle ride. I came to a complete stop in the lane of travel.

At this point, the lead rider was coming rapidly upon the front of our vehicle, waving wildly, and clearly screaming at us. I just sat there considering my options. My first thought was to get out and “educate” the individual on the proper lane of travel and the need to get a helmet on his kid. (Note: N.C. law requires bicycle helmets on children under the age of 16 when riding.)  I pretty quickly decided that any attempt at conversing with this guy would likely escalate into something more than a conversation and would increase the risk to the child. I let them get by us before we proceeded.

In retrospect, I probably should have called the local police to intervene if, for no other reason, to protect the child. At any rate, it gave me the opportunity to witness irresponsible behavior on the part of a bicyclist from the perspective of a motorist. I’m certainly glad that the majority of cyclists I know don’t behave in this manner. It was an unpleasant eye-opening segment in our day. 

You can bet my eyes will be open for this fellow in the future when I ride that road!

Until later,

- Zeke

Post a Comment