Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Biscuits & Gravy

12/27/2011 - Day 5 - The Festive 500 - 26 miles

I'll probably get run over by a garbage truck or something tomorrow for saying this tonight but when I ride around in the winter it feels like I have a force field around me. A force field that is almost visible. I don't know if it's the lights I use both front and back or the extra clothes I'm wearing or the balaclava that makes me look like I'm looking for a bank to rob or what but everyone on the road seems to give me lots of extra room. Maybe there's a little smidgen of extra respect when you're riding out there in the cold of winter.

I'm not sure what it is. I merge in and out of traffic to make left turns. I take the lane when it's appropriate. I take my place in line at stop signs and traffic signals and everyone seems to be giving me an extra six to ten feet of space over and above the normal. I haven't been buzzed or yelled at or honked at or had anything thrown at me this winter. I'm not complaining. I like the margin. I just wonder why it is? I don't have too many problems with motorists out on the roads much anyway but in the winter it is different and in a good way.

Today I'm out logging 26 miles toward The Festive 500 (it's day 5 out of 9) and the ride was just great. Twice I had to look back and scoot back at a stoplight to tell the driver to pull up a little closer or we would never trip the signal. I have mastered some things about riding in traffic that I feel help me avoid problems. First I'm no tiny guy. I'm a full size human. I make eye contact. I signal my intentions. I stop at stop signs and stoplights. I ride predictably and with that I stand up for myself on the road. I'm courteous. I smile or grimace which looks like a smile. And I have mastered the art of the "thanks for not running me over and killing me" wave.

It's been a good five days of riding trying to get to the 311 miles that will mean success in The Festive 500. My wife asked me today what I get if I complete the distance in the nine days. I told her nothing and I could tell that she didn't understand why I was doing it then. I wondered myself. It's not super fun just logging the miles in order to get to the next one. It feels too much like "training" to me. I like riding with a goal or an objective beyond a distance within a time. I like a reason to go somewhere on my bike.

7/28/2012 - Dream Small Ride #5 - Hanna Breakfast Run

On July 28, 2012 I'm going to get on my bike and ride to breakfast except it will be lunch time by the time I get there. I'm going to the little cafe on the west side of the road in the tiny town of Hanna. I can't remember what it's called. I'm going to have biscuits and gravy and a cup of black coffee with Sweet & Low. I'm going to start at the gas station that sometimes has gas and sometimes doesn't in Francis and ride the 38 miles to Hanna over Wolf Creek Pass.

When I'm done eating my breakfast at lunch time I'm going to ride the 38 miles back to Francis and call it a ride. 5620 feet of elevation gain and 5633 (!) feet of descent. There isn't a flat spot on this ride and I've never seen another cyclist up on this road. It's going to be beautiful and fun and hard and painful and slow and fast and the breakfast at lunch time is going to be fantastic too. I like a reason to go somewhere on my bike. Biscuits and gravy is about as good a reason as I can think of.

No comments:

Post a Comment