Soapbox Tuesday

Last week, we in Sycamore suffered a tragedy.  A local man was riding his bike to work in the morning, was hit by a pickup truck and killed.  To avoid disseminating information  I have only second-hand knowledge of I won’t repeat any details or opinions of the specifics, but this incident reinforced some of my currently held beliefs.

State laws regarding bicyclist‘s rights notwithstanding, bikes and cars don’t mix.  I don’t mean I don’t ride on the street.  I DO. I DO follow the rules of the roadI DO signal turns. I DO stop at stoplights, take my turn at stop signs, and get in line (off to the right) in traffic.  I DO make eye contact with drivers. I also claim my lane by riding away from the right edge.  The danger of getting hit comes from not being seen.  Riding in traffic is VERY dangerous, and the outcome of any disagreement between vehicles is predictable.  If you are on a bike, you lose! And you lose in a big way.  Helmet or not, it makes no difference. My in-traffic attitude is whomever is driving the car has the right of way.  When I’m driving a car I give cyclists a wide berth and make liberal use of the pedal in the middle. And do any of you see the people riding on the wrong side of the street? What are they thinking?

All of this vigilance is not conducive to endurance training. So my training rides are different.  I do most of my bike training on the weekend in the morning, out on country roads that basically just wind through corn fields.  I have set routes that I know are not well traveled.  Saturday morning and last night I took a circuitous route around the great “twin cities” of Sycamore and DeKalb that concentrated on bike paths instead of highways.

Quite scenic, but hard to get any real speed on.  Then there are the pedestrians, children, geriatrics, et al that have every bit as much right to be on the bike path as you do getting in the way.  Sheesh! What’s a guy supposed to do? I use an app on the PC called  Great for measuring distances and elevation changes and mapping out routes etc.  Maybe someday I can get computer-savvy enough to insert one of my maps in my blog.

Spin classes at our local YMCA start this week, so I’ll go spin.  Strong quads really help with running also, and I can use the time off my feet to heal my foot.