Friday, April 11, 2008

Another mile down the road...

One more mile under my (not yet significantly shrinking) belt.

I still have high hopes for getting to mile 60 by the end of the weekend.  7 miles, 2 days, plus tonight.  That shouldn’t be too difficult.  Hell, I could knock it out in a single day if I were motivated.  I have a HUGE test this weekend, so maybe a few miles on actual pavement will serve as a good cool down after I kick the crap out of this test.


In other news the daily fish wrap has published my letter to the editor (Thanks for spotting it, Jon!).

There had been a load of letters in the past few weeks and months about people complaining about the dunderheaded bikers wandering about the roads.  I hadn’t seen any, however, noting that most of those riders are not, in fact, cyclists, but are rather MS150 tourists who ride for 2 or 3 months and then mothball the bike for the rest of the year.  It’s not unlike all those dunderheaded runners who wander about the roads in the 3 or 4 months leading up to the marathon, never to be seen again come the 3rd week of January.


Honestly, I’ve seen some of these idiots talking on their cell phones while riding—then getting mad at ME for telling them to pull over to talk on the phone because their wandering all over the road was endangering both themselves and others.  Freaking knuckleheads.


So, I chimed in with my own pair of pennies.


The original that I sent was a little longer:

Fellow Houston drivers, I share your frustration with the cyclists we’ve had clogging our streets recently.

I also assure you that my fellow cyclists share your frustration, too.

What you need to understand is that as soon as the winter frost thaws there is a sizeable segment of the population that goes into their garage, peels off the number assigned to them the previous April, reattaches the front wheels of their bikes that haven’t been operable since the previous spring, and once again imposes themselves upon the community at large in order to prepare for the MS150.

Don’t get me wrong, the MS150 is, in fact, THE premier cycling event in the State of Texas and is a genuine pleasure to ride.  14000 riders every year take to the streets for this magnificent event that serves a terrific cause.  And when I say is it’s a pleasure to ride, I mean it’s a pleasure to ride in spite of the several thousand riders who clearly only ride their bikes for the 2 or 3 months it takes them to train for the MS150.

So, please don’t assume that all cyclists you see between February and April are created equal.  For most of the year, most cyclists really do try and follow the rules of the road and we really do try and coexist with the cars flying by us with little or no regard to the tremendous amount of danger they represent to us.  However, for 2 or 3 months, there are several thousand people on bikes who are not exactly cyclists, and they frustrate us as much as they frustrate you when they come out of their winter hibernation and don’t signal their intent (no, pointing to the right is NOT the signal for a right turn), or fly through stop signs (yes, that sign applies to you, too), or talk on their cell phones while riding (!!??!!), or otherwise prove to everyone around them that they haven’t even looked at their bike since last spring.

The good news is that after this weekend their bikes will once again be dismantled and stored for their traditional summer/fall/winter naps and things will return to normal.  Just please be as aware of us on our 15-40lb bikes as we are of you in your 1500-4000lb cars.



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