Friday, January 25, 2008

I hate cars and most people who drive them

Last night while riding I came close to getting drilled by a car, waayyyy too close! Close enough that I just said "Screw it" and went straight home. Sometimes I just don't need this. Nearly everyone I ride with has been hit by a car, and this is one club I'm not very eager to join.

I don't know how I can make myself any more visible. I'm positive that I am more visible at night than I am in the daytime. I have multiple tail lights, multiple head lights; I wear a reflective pullover that is bright enough to be seen from the moon. What the hell else can I do to become visible?

And everytime I have a close call the driver is of the same demographic (Sorry Mom!) - but it's a woman probably about 55 - 60. I remember when I was in high school we did this study on the aging (ageing?) driver and the coorelation between age and accidents. I don't remember much of the details (this was 15 years ago) but I do remember seeing an obvious problem with the system. Nothing much has changed either. People get old, they get slow and their vision is less concise. And they also see less detail - and to a driver most bike riders are barely a detail.

And another thing that pisses me off is that if I get hit it will be viewed by the general public (and if I generalize all of them then I will say they are all couch potato beer drinkling lethargic slobs that are so lazy that - never mind - I could go on forever here) as another stupid bike rider in the road when he shouldn't have been. Why is always the bike riders fault? Is it always a motorcycle rider's fault when someone pulls out in from of him? Hell no! Then why is a bike rider's fault when someone drills them from behind or pulls in my way?

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Cold but dry- better than rain

Pedal, Pedal, pedal. My friend used to yell that at his kid while he raced BMX some years back. To this day it makes me laugh because what the hell else are you going to say? Every little league dad had to feel useful in some way.

Last week kind of sucked in terms of mileage. I think I rode about 160 miles. Not very good at all. But that will happen when I get conned into working the weekend. Hopefully I can go another 3 months while avaoiding it. I was able to go three whole days without starting my car, that's a bonus. Riding my bike to work is junk miles though. It's hard to go real fast or even feel like going fast when you have a backpack on - esp. when it's 24 degrees and 5 am on a Monday. Junk miles are better than no miles.

This week is going a bit better so far. And no work planned for the weekend either so I should be able to get in about 120 miles between Saturday and Sunday, which will make for about 225 miles this week - about as good as I can get. I'll probably ride the first 1/2 on Sunday with the team and then break off to find some elevation (unless it's cold enough to snow). Pretty soon I'll be doing all my miles alone as the season gets closer and the training get more intense.

My bike team is brainwashed though. It's scary. One person has tons and tons of experience (including national) and for the most part he pulls the strings and his little marionettes do what he says. I know he just wants to helps...and his intentions are only good...but...still

Thursday, January 17, 2008

1/17/08 -being a dad and pedaling

The new season is fast approaching as I try to shed a few pounds ( I just ate a doughnut - damn those Tully's cards at work). At least I'm riding more though. I even got in 98 miles this past Saturday - and felt pretty good too. It was a bonus to have a tailwind the last 15 miles or so, I actually felt like I was in shape cruising along at 25-26 mph 4 1/2 hours into my ride.

I sure will be happy when winter is over, or at the very least we get more light. I despise the trainer and will do anything I can to avoid it - including risking my life riding around the roads of Snohomish at night. And I'll ride the Centenniel trail also, although I don't like doing that alone as I have a somewhat unwarranted phobia of cougars and bears. I think I've done 2 "rides" on the trainer so far this year - I guess I do got stuck on it once per week - that's not too bad really.

Between work and being a dad it makes it harder to get the miles in. My son, who is 3, is starting to ask to come on my rides. The other day he asked me to put him in the trailer before I left on a 5+ hour ride. I don't think he would enjoy it after a while, the weather sucks, I'm not going to pull a trailer on the road with a kid in it - and I don't know. I feel bad though - it's like this HUGE dichotmy of being a dad and being a bike racer. So anyway, I try to balance it the best I can but can be hard to make everyone (wife, son, my legs) happy. I learned how to do it for the most part, I just have to skip a couple hours of sleep per night every now and again. That's not a huge price to pay for some happiness. As long as I don't get sick - then no one is happy - then I try to pull it off. Besides, it's not too hard to get 3 or 4 hours of sleep one night per week. And every once in a while I'll just skip a night and get lots of things done (besides pedaling).

Anyway, tonight I hope to get in 60-65 miles, 35 of which will be on the trail. I will avoid trails at all costs in the daylight, I do not believe they are for bike racers, but for families. But at night time I don't think I'll have to worry about the safety of a small child or oet as I pedal down the trail at 20 mph. Nor do I have to worry about cars. Just cougars (unlikely), bears (aren't they hibernating - Yogi never made it to Christmas), coyotes (?), and rabbits (probably the most dangerous as they always dart in front of you.