Here's the Scoop: August 5, 2009
Rules of the road
So far, there have been 6.5 “Good Bike Riding Days” this year. Considering that the season starts, in my book, during May, that’s not very many.
I have this funny quirk when it comes to riding: I don’t like getting wet. This odd notion comes from years of having gotten wet. My vast experience tells me this is unpleasant. Dangerous, too.
As a result, I usually spend a bit of time checking the weather forecast before heading miles from home with only two thin wheels to propel me along the road. This year, there’s been no real need. It’s not a question of if it rains. It’s pretty much, when and how hard?
This is frustrating for those of us who enjoy getting a bit of fresh air and exercise. There’s always the option of riding the indoor bike on rainy days. But that’s why we have winter.
The other downside of riding inside, of course, is that there’s not much to see (unless there’s baseball on). But the “action” inside is limited.
When riding outside, there’s so much to do. First, one must always be wary of the drivers who think it’s fun to “buzz” bicyclists. Note to these drivers: it’s not fun. Really.
Bikers coming — speed up!
When it comes to riding outdoors, there are some special rules. We all know how a police car coming at you while you’re driving a car, has a huge slowing effect.
Well, in biking, rules of the road mandate that when opposing riders are spotted on the horizon, everyone picks up their pace. When bikers are coming toward you, it’s time to look gooooddd…It’s not a time to take a drink. Coasting is forbidden. And that itch in the middle of your back — it can wait a few minutes before it’s scratched.
Then, there are the bikers themselves. My wife and I have developed a naming system to classify the other folks we see out there.
Here are a few of the categories I can name in a family publication:
• Spent A Lot on Clothing and Equipment — Pretender. These folks sink more money into their riding gear than the government spends bailing out banks. But they can’t ride. In fact, they don’t even know enough to make a good show of things when other riders are approaching. Well, at least they’re out getting some exercise.
• I’m Too Cool to Wave. Members of this group share all of the characteristics of the category above. Except they can ride. Really well. And they would look down upon the rest of us slackers, but it would slow them down.
• I’ve Got a Bell and a Basket. These riders, who are sort of still caught in Wizard of Oz biking mode, are kind of quaint. But they probably don’t ride very far. And the ride is harder than it should be with one gear and huge tires. But they probably have way more berries at the end of their trip than those of us who don’t have a basket.
• No One Taught Me The Rules of the Road. These people constantly ride against traffic. They don’t seem to care. Or have a clue.
• We Never Get Bored Riding Because Other Riders Provide So Much Entertainment. That would be my wife and me. See you on the road. Prepare to be categorized.