Thursday, July 29, 2010

Did it again.

This evening's weather forecast was the same as yesterday's - 40% chance of thunderstorms. The difference was that, while yesterday it was overcast, spitting rain, looking like storms could break out any moment, the temp was 88 degrees, and the Weather Channel said it felt like 95, today was nearly cloud free, with intense sunshine, temp was actually 95 degrees and felt at least that. Don't know what the air quality was, but it couldn't have been too bad since i didn't really notice any problems. So, I got in another 23 miles. I realize how much I've missed riding frequently, so I have to find the time.

I tried a new route tonight that left out the road where I was attacked by a dog last night, and ridiculed by its owner. I guess I'm going to have to report it to animal control since it cuts out a huge area I normally ride in, and the next person might not be as assertive as me with an attacking dog and could really get hurt.
Here is the dog. I don't know about you, but if someone came to me and told me my dog had chased them and bitten them my reaction wouldn't be to tell that person they should not have been on the public highway.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


As noted in my last post, a variety of things have conspired to give me some excuses for not riding. There have only been 15 rides since the first of June for a total of 479 miles. Foremost among the excuses has been the weather. Well, tonight, the air quality wasn't too bad, temp only about 90, humidity 61, and thunderstorms pretty far away according to the radar. So, no excuses and a ride took place. It was only 23 miles and I averaged 16.7 (it was 17.4 into the last 2 miles, but being attacked by a rather large dog and taking the time to chase it home and speak to it's owner dropped the average, but that's another, still percolating story).

As always, I took the time to weigh myself before the ride. I do this so I can keep up with my hydration needs, and, of course, gloat at how trim and fit bike riding keeps me. Not tonight, though. Tonight I verified that the same diet that lets me lose weight all summer while riding enough to burn about 10,000 calories a week will not keep me "fit and trim" when I am not riding. There was a winter type weight gain.

So, it looks like I have to ride more or eat less. I think ride more is the answer.

Saturday, July 24, 2010


This seems to be happening far too often lately. Of course there are the usual comments of bikes not belonging on roads, and roads are made for things with motors. Well, they are not. Roads are made to facilitate travel. They are a huge network of public transport, open to whatever mode of travel the law allows. Bikes are specifically included in that.

Also troubling is the comment by the Highway Patrol officer. His statement that the bikers were riding "where they should have been, single file and on the right hand side of the road" doesn't accurately reflect the law here in NC and misleads motorists into believing bikes need to be "out of the way". Bikes here are entitled to the whole lane. Always. No exceptions. No vague "ride as far to the right as possible" like so many states. I ride about three feet into the lane because that makes me an obvious obstacle that needs to be dealt with, rather than something that can be squeezed of the road because of oncoming traffic. It doesn't always work.

I have not been riding quite as much this year due to this unbelievable heat and the poor air quality that goes with it, many days with severe thunderstorms, a back injury in June that needed to heal, and also kept me from participating in the NC State Games, so there was no third gold medal third gold medal. This year, though I have noticed far more aggressive and dangerous driving directed at me than ever before, and I am at a loss to explain why. I also see more bikes on the road, which should, in theory, lead to safer cycling as motorists become more accustomed to seeing bikes.

I still believe that some sort of public service campaign, like those that have been so successful for drunk driving and seat belt use needs to be launched, along with real enforcement and penalties for harassing, endangering, injuring, and killing cyclists (and pedestrians). It needs to be nationwide and it needs to be overwhelming in it's visibility. So, how do we do it? Maybe then the roads will become safer for what they are intended for - traveling from one place to another, however you choose to get there.

I've also had writers block, as the lack of updates shows.

Oh, I want Andy to win. Hope he's learned to time trial.