January 09, 2008

It almost happened

Yesterday on my commute home, I came the closest I ever have to being plowed into by a car. I'm not counting the time my front wheel was run over by the asswipe who overtook me in the middle of a right hand turn. That was intentional. I'm not counting all the times I've been cut off or any of the other malicious acts that have occured by people who would rather run me over then add 2 seconds to the time it takes to get to the Most Important Event In The World. This was an act of inattentiveness, and it was freaking scary.

I had just gotten off a bike path and was on a main residential street heading east. As I crossed an intersection with a side road, a westbound car suddenly made a left turn on the side road, not cutting me off, but heading straight for me. Thankfully I'm pretty good at getting into the mode of thoughts turning into action in mere nanoseconds. I veered right, gunned it for the curb, and yelled simultaneously. I think the yell woke the driver up because she slammed on her brakes, stopping less than 1 foot from me. I don't think I would have made it out of her way had she kept coming.

Having just come off the bike path on the mellow first half of my commute, I admit that I wasn't into the ultra-defensive mode I'm usually in on the mean streets in the afternoon. That incident woke me up and really put me on edge. I was cussing out (under my breath) the boneheads who zoomed in front of me just to slam to a stop 100 yards ahead. I was my usual cynical self and I was pissed off.

Then something else happened. I was trackstanding, waiting to cross a 2-lane road that was gridlocked both ways. The nearest lane cleared and a car waiting to make a left turn in the farthest lane went, opening the road. I looked left and the farthest lane was clear for maybe 300 yards before it hit gridlock again. I couldn't make it and clipped out. Then the driver across from me saw me and motioned me across the road. Wow. Somebody not bent on hurrying up and waiting.

Maybe there's hope for mankind after all.

January 01, 2008

Happy New Year!

Hope you welcomed the new year in a way that makes you happy. I did: 40 miles of sweet dirt. It was almost twice as much as I'd planned on riding today, but the odds were against me. It was my last free day off for a while, the weather was beautiful, a little overnight rain had packed the trails. I rode both Croom and Boyette today (afternoon spin with the dogs) and conditions were perfect.

I have a nice string of big weekend dirt rides going. Last weekend I rolled a beautiful 50+ miles at Santos with Eddie and Namrita O, Patrick and Chris. Before that there was 40+ at Croom, 40 and 55 mile rides at Santos, and lots of 2-3 hour rides at LHP, getting that place dialed in for a certain 6 hour race at the end of the month. There's nothing like 6 hours of fast but technical trail to kick start your season, right in the nuts.

Fontana has lost 2 pounds since he went on his diet. We still can't see his ribs, but he doesn't look quite as fat. Max keeps him honest. That dog loves to run and his endurance is building rapidly. He rode 22 miles at LHP with me last weekend at a nice pace.