And in my case, it's a chance to take care of my serious case of "Last-word-itis," where if the guy hadn't said anything and just pulled into the parking lot, I wouldn't have thought twice. But hearing him say I should stop, when I've got the right of way with the flow of traffic, and he's pulling the dick move of cutting through a parking lot anyway, then I'm following him to give him some choice words. Which took a lot less time that I thought it might, and actually got the guy into a frothing rage as I turned back around to head home. All in all, good times.
It also made me re-think my plan for showing up for dinner on my bike but sans helmet, all cool in street clothes. I'm always in street clothes anyway, but that way I don't have to carry the helmet home. Today made it clear to me that it's worth having to carry a helmet home when who knows is going to be driving out there with you. Helmet it is. And now, off to dinner.
Current beer-scale: 9.0
The first was a chick who ran a stop sign in-front of a cop turning onto Damen. When he said she should have stopped, she replied she did which got him worked up enough to come up and stop her, asking for ID just as the wife and I were walking by. This chick had a couple strikes against her already; cubs traffic, aggravated cop, no helmet, the last thing she needed to do was tell the cop he was wrong. But evidently she didn't get a ticket, b/c she ran the next stop sign down the street, and the cop just watched her do it. Whatever.
The second not so whatever. Walking back east on School, at the Lincoln/Marshfield/School intersection, we were waiting for the light to change to cross Lincoln. Up from behind us comes a couple on bikes, but the guy's got a kid-trailer (with a kid visibly in it!) as he rolls right up and through the intersection. Traffic was crossing! I was terrified, my wife was terrified, even the dog was wondering what the hell this guy was doing. The chick with him even yelled for him to stop, as he was getting honked at by someone slamming on the brakes on Lincoln. Christ almighty, why some people decide to have kids is beyond me. He might as well have put a bullseye on that trailer and rolled it into traffic.
Check those mad photoshop skills
I'm not perfect biker, and I have my share of close calls. In fact, I plan on riding a bike on which I may or may not be able to stop to dinner tonite. But jeez, I'm not endangering my genetic offspring. Maybe he's doing everyone a favor; having already ensured his traits surviving, he's trying to correct the situation by having his kid run over.
Current beer-scale: 7.3
This time, I was the guilty party, drafting after the two ladies in the shot flew by. They were both on what looked like Fuji track bikes, and since I have a track-ish bike, I went to see if I could keep up. Evidently I could, well enough to dig out the phone for the second day in a row.
I feel slightly bad about it, seeing as how I try my damndest to drop anyone who comes even remotely close to drafting off me. In fact, I was practically tugging on this poor chick as the one in front started to pull away as my fat ass pulled the second one back. I thought about passing and trying to catch up, but I was already past my normal turn around. Plus since yesterday was a Tour rest day I didn't have any real racing jones either.
After a day moving a friend into their new house, I was happy just to be able to stand, let alone bike today. Seeing someone commuting with a big bag over their shoulder while in complete road-kit gear only made it that much better. Now if I can only stand back up out of my chair...
Current beer-scale: 6.1
I had made my turn and was headed back south to belmont on the lake path, when I look up and ahead of me, there's a guy in a Half Acre jersey. "Wow, that's cool" I thought. "I should tell him that as I pass him."
Something as simple as that, yet full of ego. It might not be as bad as that, but apparently I'm so used to passing roadies I just take it a given now. Or at least I used to. B/c no sooner than my thinking that, the guy absolutely took off. Dropped me like...well, like something really heavy and slow. Zoom.
I was already nearly sprinting, trying to find a good rhythm. This guy stood up for a second, and was gone. It was fantastic. I've had a few moments that felt like that on a bike, but haven't seen one as a spectator. Even as I was getting absolutely smoked, I had to appreciate that it was happening. Very cool. Makes me want to watch more Tour coverage.
Current beer-scale: 5.1
I don't really care to show up on-time on Sundays, so I extended things a little this morning. The plan was to stay on the path until the chess pavilion, then take the tunnel back into the neighborhood. Of course, someone was calling their dog from the North Ave bridge and it came screaming across the path to catch up to them.
I saw him coming and was able to stop in time, probably about 18 inches away from where this dog came running across. Close enough to send pictures of the lab that got run over at the tour a few years ago through my head, but not so close it was in danger of actually happening to me.
Watch that video. Look at the dog get up and limp away in slow motion. I'd like to headbutt the guy who let that dog actually get on the road like that, and I feel bad for not doing it to the douche calling his dog this morning. Did he think that was funny? Does he care so little for both his dog and the other people on the path that he can just let the dog run wild? Even thinking about it now I get overly worked up. That dick deserves to run over by a truck, so his dog can find a better home.
I'm going to take a deep breath now, and finish listening to the cardinals self-destructing in the first game of today's double-header. See, there's always a bright side...sometimes you just have to look a couple places for it.
Current beer-scale: fucking high
For whatever reason, just a few minutes later makes a huge difference in who you see on bikes and how traffic patterns change around you. I get stuck behind people fiddling with their ipods or doing whatever else people do when they only ride a few months out of the year. Basically they do the opposite of what I'd be doing at lights, or with someone blocking the lane, or going around other commuters. Which actually hasn't been bothering me, b/c I tend to speed up around these people and still get to work relatively on-time. So while they're out there taking up space, they're also saving me a few minutes of time each morning.
Of course, I shouldn't complain too much, b/c I can't still can't avoid losing a few leg hairs each morning bashing my calf on a pedal. Ow. It keeps me humble. At least a little.
Current beer-scale: 7.2
Current beer-scale: 7.3