Monday, April 20, 2015

Why won't you move over?

Saturday I rode the Cinderella Challenge.  A lovely ride for women only.

Not much is asked of the riders.  And those things that we are asked to do are related to safety.  Among those things:  you must wear a helmet, no ear buds or headphones, ride single file, ride as close to the right side of the road as is safe, call out when passing, make sure your bike is in good working order, etc.  You get the idea. There was also a reminder that this is not a race against others. 

What should probably have been said as well is that it isn't a social ride.  Don't get me wrong.  I have nothing against going out for a social ride.  I do have a problem with riders who think that riding single file doesn't apply to them.  And I'm not sorry if you think I'm being rude when I call out on your left or ask you to move over when you and your friends are spread out across the lane. 

Rant aside.  I had a wonderful ride.  The weather was about as prefer as you could ask for.  My average speed was about .5 mph faster than last year.  I saw cycling friends I hadn't seen in awhile and caught up with them at the lunch stop.  I saw cows rubbing their calves backs with their horns, a dead rattlesnake (I think it was a rattlesnake), enjoyed the quiet on Midway, and the thought that before the 580 was constructed, cars chugged up Altamont Pass on the same road I was riding up.  Seeing the Summit Garage always makes me happy.

Another thing that made this a great ride is that I was wearing my Giro halter bib shorts.  A year ago I took a leap and tried out bib shorts.  I resisted bib shorts for so long.  I didn't want the hassle of having to take off my jersey to use the bathroom.  It all seemed so fussy and how much more comfortable were they than regular shorts any way?  Well bibs solved a few problems, namely almost no rubbing on tender bits because the chamois stays in place.  With the Giro halter, I just have to lift the strap over my head without stripping down to my sports bra beforehand.  I've only used them on two rides; one was 65 miles and the Challenge, which my Garmin showed as 85.3 miles.  I'm sold.

Sunday, April 05, 2015

An open letter to House of Pain riders

Dear HOP riders,

Yesterday I was riding on Manning about to turn onto North Livermore when your group came by me.  One fellow yelled to me that you were a "big group." I replied don't run me off the road.  Of course, you didn't respected my request.  In fact, one of you came within inches of me nearly forcing me onto the soft shoulder. (Frankly, I've been run off the road more than once by your group in the past year--on Camino Tassajara and on Highland.)  Shortly after your group made their turn, a truck turned onto North Livermore and made it up to the back of your group in seconds.  He honked as he wanted to get past your group which was spread out across the lane.  Not one of you moved to the right so he could safely pass.  He crossed the double yellow line to get around you.

I guess the fact one of your group was killed on in December has not change your group's mentality.  You do not have the right to push other cyclists off the road just because we are not riding your pace.  We are not racing you. In fact, I am out on my training ride and have no desire to race anyone.  You are technically not racing either.  You don't have the permits, the road closed nor is it marked for a bike race. 

Believe it or not, I understand the desire to ride fast but I don't do it as if my ride is the only one that counts.  I also think that my behavior on the road can affect how drivers view all cyclists.  Your behavior goes a long way to re-enforcing the perspective that all cyclists are jerks who routinely disregard the rules of the road. 

I would love it if you would show some respect to others on the road at the same time as you.  If I am forced on to the soft shoulder or off the road by your group again or witness the type of behavior I saw yesterday, I am reporting you to the police or sheriff.