Thread: Cycling anyone?
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Old 04-19-2008   #23
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Join Date: May 2007
Location: Florida
Posts: 2,422
Default Re: Cycling anyone?

Well, I did my 'warm up' ride for the Circle the Bald in north Georgia next weekend (part of the Tour de Georgia, which Lance often rode). Todays ride was the Old Howard ride from Marion, AL. I did the 70 mile loop today, it was a great day for a ride, mid 70's and not a cloud in the sky, and I rode well.

When we got to the half way point it took into some hills (significant to me being from Florida, the locals thought it wasn't too bad!) I handled them for a while, but as a small, long ride, riders spread out (and many riders were pretty quiet so it wasn't as social as many large, long rides I'm used to) I got into that riding solo rut that is so easy to fall into....

The only sorry part was when @ 55 miles my left thigh cramped up on a particularly long and steep hill, so being such a nice day, I decided to take my bike for a short walk up the rest of the hill. If I had better gearing, I wouldn't have had to do this, but riding a 39/23 up steep hills after 55 miles just wasn't going to happen (FWIW the folks who passed me were riding triple cranks or at worst 25 to 28 rears so maybe I shouldn't feel so bad I walk a bit!) I was never so happy to see a rest stop @ 58 miles!!!! Well, a few beers and 800 mg Ibuprofen later my legs are still a bit sore. I might try to go for a spin tomorrow and hopefully loosen them up a bit, or maybe not........

I finished the ride in just a few minutes over four hours, so all in all averaged a decent pace given the terrain. I would have been home much sooner, but in my depleted state I got on one of the highways the wrong way and didn't noticed it until I had gone 60 miles the wrong direction...... FWIW I was talking to my wife and not really paying attention to the signs, but...

Can anyone say Dumb and Dumber??

Cars were for the most part were very respectful, especially for the first 15 miles when I hammered out with the lead pack with the police escort (amazing how that helps!) I only got buzzed once by the second vehicle to pass me one time, maybe he didn't know what he was passing or maybe he was an A-hole, who knows. Ironically, I drove home over the first ten miles of the last 30 or the century, and three folks I had ridden with for a while were riding three across taking the full lane on a 55 MPH highway. I gave a polite toot of my horn, nothing, got closer, slowed and gave another toot, nothing, finally I could go to the other side of the road (it was one lane each way) and pass them. I must admit, even as a cyclist, this annoyed me. I can see it from their perspective, they were likely tired, it was almost 2PM, hot, and they were ~20+ miles from finishing a ride that started at 9AM (pretty late for a long ride, centuries usually start by 7 or 8) but damn! When you annoy a fellow cyclist, especially one who rode with you for over 30 miles in a small pack, I start to see why some drivers look badly upon us cyclists.

We as cyclists need to do our part to SHARE the road, something these three did not do to make this a better situation for all., education is great, but when we have ignorant car drivers and cyclists, they each will continue to annoy each other so no resolution will occur.

In the mean time;

Drivers, please try to respect cyclists, we, by the nature of our sport, will almost always be slower than you, and it will take us longer and more energy to resume speed.

Cyclists, please keep an eye out for others on the road, pay heed to others and don't take advantage of your limited power and speed to the annoyance of motorized vehicles!!!

Hopefully I can fall asleep now and I'l see how the legs are tomorrow.... I want to get some more mileage in, but might not like sitting on that saddle again so soon!

Ken Taraszka, MD
Associate Editor

Last edited by kennyt; 04-19-2008 at 10:36 PM..
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