Tag Archives: Cycling

Why Do We Risk?

8 Aug

I think we all attempt to live our lives striving for a form of balance or equilibrium. Life and death are the ultimate balance and our actions in between those extremes attempt, albiet imperfectly, to maintain that balance. Within that paradigm we seek to balance risk and reward. Cycling has so much to offer as reward, but your post is a timely reminder of the reality of the risk. Many engage in activities of great risk and never appreciate the extremity of their actions. I think this is foolish, because as you illustrated, we rarely suffer the consequences alone. For some the attraction of their actions is found in their knowledge of the risk and in their ability to engage in the subject behavior. For those who seek enjoyment from risky activities, there would be little point in completely safe activities. To some degree everyone that is alive is risking something, but it is the higher risk activities that cause the most damage. What we all have to decide is whether what we need from our particapation is worth being killed or injured and whether it is important enough to risk the damage that might result to our friends and family.

Sent from my iPad

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Sly Cowards

27 May

Sly cowards in cars/They attack you from behind/No time to fight back.

05/22/2013 Bakersfield, CA

Well, this made for an interesting ride. Today’s haiku was inspired by the following incident.

As I was riding in front of the college, just after heading out on my early morning daily solo training ride, near the agriculture yard, I noticed a car in my rearview mirror that appeared to be drifting over into the bike lane. As I was occupying the lane at the time, this got my attention. Watching a car approach in the mirror is a bit tricky and done well, probably takes more coordination than I’m capable of. I slowed and moved farther over to the right and when I glanced again I saw the car was almost entirely in my lane and appeared to be going pretty slowly. The next thing I know my head was violently struck from behind and the car drives, none too quickly down the road. Given the dark and my surprise I didn’t get a license number, but I did get a description of the vehicle. I also remember hearing laughter as they drove away.

Luckily, I didn’t lose consciousness or fall from my bike, but I could feel that my helmet had suffered some damage and I had a little bit of a headache. I sped up, hoping to catch them at the next intersection, but they were nowhere to be seen. I checked my helmet and found that it had been cracked pretty good, and the suspension system was also damaged. My next order of business was to call the police and report the incident, although I didn’t make an official report, as I didn’t want the delay that would entail to interfere with my workout. While I did continue with my ride it was shortened to only 35 miles and I must admit I didn’t derive my usual level of enjoyment from the act. Later in the day, a friend suggested that I call the police and see if they could check the security cameras in the area to see if they caught a video of the suspect/s fleeing from the area. Given all of the security camera issues in the news of late, I’m surprised that I didn’t think of this sooner. While I did make the report, I have not heard anything about whether they have checked on the available video.

While the incident was far from enjoyable, it did remind me how tenuous life is, and how important it is to alway be vigilant and prepared. I have now taken measures to improve my security and safety and I’ve ordered a POV helmet camera that should be able to document any future encounters.

I will report back later on the efficacy of the video or the outcome of the investigation and any future run-ins with drivers.

Vlees Huis Road Race Pre Ride

31 Mar

“What purpose practice/Perfection impossible/To achieve your best.”

Our local cycling clearing house, Velobob.com, posted that there was to be a pre-ride/practice for the upcoming Vlees Huis RR.  I decided that the ride would be a good focal point for the days milage and I left home about 6:30, while it was still dark.  Surprisingly, it was pretty warm when I left home, no wind and some puffy clouds.

The Vlees Huis is a relatively brutal race set on 30+ mile semi-loop in the foot hills east of town. What makes the race so difficult is the 3500 feet of elevation gain every lap. Riders do between 1 and 4 laps depending on category. I was planning on doing the Masters 55+ race and that would be a single lap race, so today I only planned on doing a single lap practice.

The posting said that the ride would start at a new mini-mart west of the race start/finish line. Most folks drove from town and parked at the mini-mart, but a few of us road from town. I had over 20 miles by the time I got to the meeting location.

The group took off at a fairly sedate pace that slowly increased until the base of the first climb. I was able to stay with the group up to that point, but on the climb I was quickly dropped. Thereafter, I kept a steady, if not painfully slow pace over the rest of the course.

While on my way back home my sweet wife agreed to go out for a ride when I got home. After a short rest, I headed out to Lake Ming with my bride to enjoy the day. After I returned home from the second ride, I downloaded my rides and wrote a Haiku for each. See above and below.

“Rest is overrated/The day is too good to quit/I’ll rest when I’m dust.”

Recent Ride Haiku’s Part II

29 Mar

Fog is a blanket/It serves to obscure the sight/But not our vision.
Time changes for all/What does not is how we live/What’s your decision.
To climb is to strive/To strive is to live on the edge/The edge has the view.
Breathless agony/Life proving adversity/Will not cease to live.
An overcast start/Temperature is deceptive/Stuck with decision.
Friends finally met/Light comes sooner to the Ride/Morning group a blur.
Overlook flowers/Ridden with a new rider/Perfect day for ride.
Sleep a little less/Make sure your bike is working/ride a little more.
The moon shines brightly/Yet the Light is not enough/To ride danger free.
Days getting longer/Workout getting easier/Gains are elusive.
Legs are a bit tired/Faster still the route disolves/Stopped with Flat they are.
Clicked into pedals/One hundred and seven miles/Clicked out of pedals.
Lights in the distance/More hard miles in the saddle/Week comes to an end.
The calm after the storm/Not a soul on the roadway/Many in their bed.
Same route different day/Each ride is like a snowflake/Everyone Unique.
What a surprise Rain/Breadth of darkness muted well/to go up again.
Hanging with Sweety/A very nice day for a ride/Can’t wait for the next.
Chance Meeting with group/Miles to go before resting/Good day to ride long.
Light appears early/Warmth is a welcome surprise/What may the day hold.
The morning is quiet/The ride exhilarating/The day much better.
Time to find pack/Reflections of speed are bright/Such speed elusive.
Trip finds me wanting/Road becons out before me/World sleeps in silence.
Wind rain, but no fire/Windmills sprout in winds presence/Biking on the moon.
One, its cold and dark/Two, bed calls. but the bike speaks/Three, the bike prevails.
Warmer then morning/Pacelining with my Sweety/Superbowl Chow awaits.
Cold and foggy fun/Can’t keep up with my elders/Just getting started.
Stationary work/When will this finally end/No distraction helps.
Full moon shines brightly/Clouds play hide and seek with moon/Picked up hitchhiker.
Fog then mist and back/Cyclists adverse to weather/Runners don’t seem to mind.
Night envelopes me/Excessive speed not my friend/Road obscured by fog.

Started titling my Strava rides with a Hiku on January 25, 2013.