Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Off Road


The only problem with this off-road ride was that I was on my road bike, and the off- road part? I found myself suddenly on the shoulder sliding and rolling. Fortunately I hit a patch of grass and was able to tuck and roll. I stood up uninjured, raising my arms in the air as if to say" What in the world was that for?"

I started out on the Bat Cave loop again after work. I love this ride. Two long climbs, one takes about 20 minutes the other 45 minutes. Long smooth switchbacks winding up through rhododendrons, next to bustling mountain creeks up to the Eastern Continental Divide. In between the two climbs are some fast descents, some valley bottom farm land, and a few scattered houses and businesses.

I was feeling good, riding under overcast skies with occasional sprinkles. The air was fresh, cool and humid. On tap for today was some varied pace riding. Last week I pushed hard and felt it all week, so tonight I was going to back off, still push at times, like over the top of some grunt climbs, but then keep a moderate pace the rest of the ride.

Down through Bat Cave, then up and over the Divide to Fairview, I ended up on Cane Creek Rd and eventually to Sweeten Creek rd. I was riding along, respecting traffic, staying over as far as I could when I heard a semi behind me. It had slowed down and was going my speed. That's fine, in less than two minutes, traffic would clear and he would be able to get to his destination in no time. He was headed to the UPS transfer station 4 miles down the road, 1 mile from my house. But for some reason, he decided to pass now, I was going about 18 mph, we had just started going over a rise, there was oncoming traffic, and I heard him step on the gas. I couldn't believe it, actually, I could, it happens all the time, but at the same time I was blown away. He pulled out, giving me about 2 feet of room. Then I guess he realized that the oncoming traffic would not appreciate him being in their lane, and he cut back. At this point, I was even with the rear wheels of the truck, the beginning of the trailer.

Having hauled a trailer or two in my lifetime, I knew that the rear wheels of the trailer were headed straight for me at this point. I looked right and in a split second saw that the shoulder was grassy, I hit the brakes, hit the shoulder, dropped the bike and rolled in the grass.

This is where it goes crazy.

I stood up, motioned, and the truck kept going. Not only that, but NONE of the other 30 cars in the 50 yrd radius stopped to see if I was ok. Amazing, this human race. Seeing someone go down and not even caring. What? Do we not even have the time to care anymore? We really need to wipe some things off of our schedule. Whatever it is, wherever you are going, whatever package you are waiting for, is NOT WORTH SOMEONE'S LIFE!

I got back on the bike, not wanting too but knowing that the best thing was to go make a report.

I was headed to the UPS transfer station when I noticed the semi in an apartment complex. The driver yelled at me to " Come here" . I almost didn't but decided to see what he would do. It turns out he apologized. Whoa!! My faith in the human race was restored, a little bit. He said he " thought" he gave me enough room. I was kind but firm, letting him know that he didn't. He apologized several times and made sure I was ok. He was genuinely sorry.

After a dramatic finish to a great ride, I headed home.

Be careful out there...drivers and cyclists.

Have a great day.

1 comment:

Northstar Bikes said...

glad to hear that the guy at least apologized, usually their un-apology is the middle finger out the window.

I'm always amazed at the things that happen on the road bike. I once had the ash tray (with its' contents) thrown at me on a ride. awesome...