As established yesterday…

image from www.flickr.com 
Little Yellow House, Hamachek Village, Kewaunee, WI; from the archives, a year ago (August 2, 2009).
I’d like to ride in this area sometime.

…the weather is craptastic and less than ideal for outdoor activity.  I’ve been kicking myself that I didn’t get a bike ride in on Sunday morning — the last time it was “nice” — and have been stalking the weather (I love the “hourly” forecast) (and the “fitness” forecast) trying to find a decent, dry, daylight hour to ride.  At minimum, I’m hoping for two rides this week before race day on Sunday.

It was miserable on Tuesday and we were all looking for some way to beat the heat and not feel like a complete slug.  I ended up going to a movie with Kate & Al on the cheapest night at the “cheap seats” theater — always a busy night ($1.75 admission!), it was REALLY busy!  The theater used to be part of Valley Fair Mall — one of… if not the first indoor shopping malls in America.  Since the mall was torn down and all that’s left standing is the theater, it’s actually quite nice!  Anyway, we saw “Letters To Juliet” and I enjoyed the scenery.  Plus there was a big outdoor feast in an Italian vineyard at the end… that’ll redeem just about any movie in my book.

But, on the way to the theater on that hot and sticky night, we saw a cycling group out for a ride and I couldn’t help feeling a little bit like a slug.

It was horrible again yesterday, but by late afternoon there was some cloud cover, a little movement in the air, slightly less humidity — a break!  I saw at least four cyclists on my way home from work and, by gum, if they can do it I can, too!  I settled into my get-ready groove before I even got home and then made a bee-line for my gear.  I filled my water bottle, pumped up my tires, grabbed my glasses, phone and helmet, and off I went.  I can’t stop to think — especially on a day like yesterday — because it would be so easy to chuck it.

One down.  I’m so glad I went!  And, actually, I think I’d be going a little bit nuts right now with the need for speed (haha, just some movement) if I hadn’t.  I didn’t break any records or anything, but wasn’t slacking — I’m so happy to see the speedometer at consistently higher speeds with what feels like little extra effort.  It’s just getting easier as I get stronger and more experienced.  Also, may I say, I love biking because I can go faster than the mosquitoes — they’re the worst I’ve seen in many, many years.  Anyway, I hope there’s another favorable weather window before Sunday, but if not… the weather is supposed to be FANTASTIC for the race and que sera sera.

May I peeve for a moment about cyclists?  There are two — one’s mine and one I’ve adopted from Kate.

  1. I can’t stand it when cyclists, especially in groups, think they own the road.  Lesson One, as I can remember from bicycle safety in grade school, is to ride single-file and with traffic.  It’s okay to ride double-breasted or even swarm the road — especially in an area where there’s little traffic — as long as you are courteous and aware and move over.  On city streets?  Gah!  I will honk my horn and shake my fist and glare at you!
  2. The other is when people wear their earbuds while riding — the reasons for which well-illustrated yesterday when I nearly witnessed a kid/teen, groovin’ and oblivious, nearly get smucked by a car right in front of me.  He wasn’t aware at all, except to keep tabs on me — apparently being passed by an old lady would have been too much to take — so he’d race ahead every time I’d get close.  Eventually, doing some early maneuvers for an upcoming left-hand turn, he started to drift across the road without even looking!  I hollered, which of course he couldn’t hear at all, and it took him a few seconds even to react to the car’s horn.

One really awesome GOOD THING is when a cyclist who is faster than me lets me know that they’re there, shouting out, “I’m on your left,” as they are preparing to leave me in their wake, and doubly awesome-good when their partner adds, “There are two of us!”  I never knew.  A few people — about half who passed me — did it on the charity ride a couple of weeks ago and I appreciated it so much that I’ve been doing it, too.  This is another reason why #2, above, is not a good idea… especially in an area of heavy traffic where you’d think one might want to be aware and keep their wits about them.  Sheesh.  Yeah.

Okay?  Thanks.  It feels good to get that off my chest.

There’s been little knitting this week, but guess what?!  I’ve been weaving in ends!!  There’s a long way to go, but starting is the hardest.  Ain’t that the truth about so many things?


9 thoughts on “As established yesterday…

  1. The picture of the little yellow house is one I remember and love, too! You’re doing so well, even if you don’t give yourself credit. Go, Vicki!
    Don’t get me started on cyclists who hog the mountain roads. Everyone needs to learn cycling etiquette, even cyclists.

  2. Delurking (It’s been a while!) – those peeves of yours are ditto for horse-back riding. I will admit to riding wearing my iPod, BUT, I only have one earbud in and I leave my other (weirdly dominant) ear free to listen behind me. Just common courtesy to yell ahead when you are approaching to say where you are going to pop up. Even more so with horses who…um… tend to spook more than bikes. Usually.
    Go you! I think it’s awesome you are Lance Armstrong’ing it. 😉

  3. !. Riding a bike gives you a built-in breeze. Except for you back — that will still sweat.
    B. Teenagers are immortal, that’s why they don’t pay attention.
    iii. That thing of announcing your overtaking and passing is something that is done in downhill skiing, too. “On your left!”
    d. The humidity dropped here today. Still hot, but not unbearable. Should reach you in a day or so.

  4. You know you’re in the groove when you feel better “fitness-ing” than when you don’t (even in bad weather)! Good for you, Vicki! It’s tough to be an athlete when the conditions are less-than-ideal — but you’re doing it! Go! Go! Go! Push through. . . and ride like the wind!

  5. Dale and I have old-fashioned bells on our bikes and we always ring them when we pass someone. Given that we ride cruisers, we don’t actually pass anyone very often but still, it’s a courteous thing to do. We rode our bikes to a Kiwanis pot luck last night and it was FUN.

  6. I once injured myself slamming my foot on the brake for a cyclist (not a casual-looking one either, but someone who was in fancy racing garb and looked like a really serious one) who darted out on his bike between parked cars on the side of the street. He was *thisclose* to hitting my car and flying over my hood. It upset me so much I almost had to go to a doctor for a sedative after the adrenalin rush, and I was pretty much useless for work that day. And I DID have a huge sprained foot and leg (I’m not kidding) and whiplash that required me to make several visits to a chiropractor and massage therapist.
    And this was NOT a teenager, either, but someone who should have known better. Angry doesn’t even begin to describe my feelings.

  7. ogawd, is that nastiness coming here? Our “cheap seats” are 6.75 for the matinee. Or they were when I was there last… seems the price keeps creeping up. And it’s no luxury theater either… it’s pretty stinky! Good for you, love that you go faster than the mosquitos. I keep thinking I want one of those cruisers like Carole has… just for commuting or puttering. Which I’ll be more likely to do.

  8. #1 and #2 – yup and yup. I usually chew out earbud wearers – they are almost always kids, and I give them an earful of why that is dangerous for them and for ME! I prefer to have a bell on my bike rather than hollering, but have the fat handlebar wrap (cushy!) so can’t fit a bell. “On your left,” is sort of standard around here. Road hogs suck too. And people who don’t wear helmets. On the other hand, if you have a mechanical difficulty, cyclists will almost always stop or at least ask if you’re okay, so that’s awesome. We take care of each other when we aren’t driving each other nuts 🙂

Leave a Reply