Friday, July 15, 2011

Curmudgeon, what me?

Ok, I guess I am pretty set in my ways, I have certain things that I consider good etiquette when riding, several of which were violated today.  First I would like to say I do like riding with other riders, the problem comes when I am joined by other riders who don't let me know they are drafting me.  Now I don't mind other riders catching a draft, but when I don't know that they are there they are they are at risk for me doing something stupid and me crashing them or vice versa, or even worse I could let loose with a snot rocket and totally cover them!   When I catch a rider when out on a training ride I usually don't end up drafting them, usually I catch them and then pass them, although I usually say on your left and pass on their left and leave them plenty of room so they don't end up getting spooked by me riding by.  But if I do choose to draft I say, "on your wheel" or "do you mind if I sit in" and make sure I get a response otherwise I don't know if they truly know if they know I am there.

Now the same guy that ended up drafting me nearly took me out at a stoplight, several miles prior to the whole drafting thing.  I was slowing, anticipating the light to change and suddenly a guy zips by on my right at we approached the corner, no warning no nothing, luckily I wasn't turning right otherwise we would have been a tangled mess.  I don't know what possesses people; cyclists, drivers or pedestrians to do really stupid and risky things, but I seem to run into what I consider more than my fair share.  Yesterday I was close to the end of my training ride and was coming up a small rise that was also on a corner and what should I see but a teenage girl riding no-handed with a cell phone in her hands apparently texting and drifting into my lane.  Of course her attention was not on the road ahead, but her cell phone, my screaming of "hey, hey, hayyyyyyyyyyy" seems to wake her out of her texting reverie just in time to avoid a head on collision.  My only thought was that she probably didn't learn anything from the incident and would end up one of those teenage drivers that gets killed trying to text and drive.

This leads me to the last item for which I seem to have a curmudgeonly attitude towards, riding in traffic with headphones on.  Why would anyone willing inhibit the ability to hear everything around them, especially the large car or truck about to hit them?  I like to listen to music, but I don't think that riding on a busy streets or places where you need to be able to hear to keep from getting hit or responding to other riders is a good idea, yet I see a lot of riders with headphones on.  Not just in one ear, but both!  I have even see guys put in their headphones during a group ride.

Well on to a more positive subject, Thor's win today on Stage 13!  It was great seeing Thor not only make it up and over a big mountain, but to break away and chase down Jeremy Roy and go on to win! I hope that Thor stays with Garmin-Cervelo for the next season at least, but it seems like there are a lot of rumors about Thor moving to several teams.  Well I am rooting for Tommy D and Cadel Evans for GC.  It would be great for Tommy D to finish top 5, but tomorrow will tell who has the ability to take control.  I think that the Schlecks will attack and I am all for Andy or Frank finishing on the top step, but I am really hoping Cadel gets the win he has been working so hard for.

Got to get to bed, 70 miles and about 7,000 feet of climbing for me tomorrow, then home and watching the Tour!

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