February 14, 2013

Rockets in the Wind

OK, snot rockets are not all I think about on the bike.  But it seems like almost every time I get my heart rate up, I end up needing to clear my airways.  What I've realized over this past month being back on the bike is that care must be taken on the bike to remember that I'm not running.

Running...at least when I do it, is not particularly fast, and thus there is little wind.  That's not true on the bike, because even I can go fast enough to feel wind in my face.  About three times now I've given the old heave out of one nostril just fine, but when I switch and blast the other... well let's just say laundry day moves a bit closer.  Or, more truthfully, several bits closer.

Then when I concentrate too much on keeping the process clean I end up weaving down the road a bit.  I'm getting better though.  Getting better.

February 13, 2013

Triple Truck Ruckus

It's only a matter of time on the road before interactions with the crazies happens.  I'm really suprised it took 4 weeks for me to have any, but it must have been building up cause this morning I got three!

I don't know what it is about guys in their trucks.  Attitudes seem to be magnified proportional to the size of the truck...but maybe that's just my perspective.

1.  I'm at a major intersection of two arterial streets.  The street I'm on has two lanes in each direction.  I'm lined up in the right lane behind three vehicles that have their right-hand turn signal on.  One vehicle is in the left lane.  The light turned green and the vehicles in front of me began to move.  As the line slowly moved into their turning motion, I noted that the single truck in the left lane was NOT moving.  The vehicle in front of me turned, and as I entered the intersection the truck to the left finally began moving...and it became apparent to me why he had NOT been moving. 

He had waited for the queue of headlights to roll out before making his last-minute lane-switch-right-hand-turn.  BUT he had NOT seen MY headlight.  Thankfully this individual is so engrained in his last-minute behavior type that he DID see me at the last minute and paused long enough for me to clear his path before continuing his illegal maneuver.

2.  As I entered the Garland Business District which is posted as a 20 MPH zone I saw a nice truck ready to turn onto the street behind me.  I made a concerted effort to increase my pedaling effort which would bring me up to about 17 MPH on my single-speed commuter.  As soon as the truck was fully into the lane behind me I recognized the engine rev of an individual about to break the law.  Sure enough, the truck came rolling past on my left straddling the double yellow.  I snarkily gave him a huge thumbs up as he did so.  Then I refrained from looking at him 50 yards down the road where we both toed the line at the next red light.

3.  Truck number three came from behind as we approached a green signal with a single lane in our direction and a left-hand turn lane.  This time the diesel engine rev was unmistakably moving into the left-hand turn lane, and also unmistakably NOT slowing down.  I just shook my head as this guy rolled straight through the intersection.

Sometimes I wonder if it's my fault they break the law...wait, no I don't!  They are big enough to make their own stupid decisions.  Typically we don't get to hear what's going on in someones mind in the moment they make a decision, but two out of three times this morning I did hear just that. 

February 12, 2013

Performance Bike

I like to go to my local bike shop.  I like to chat with the mechanics and watch them tune my bike.  But I don't like to by maintenance pieces or gear from them.  For those things I go to the internets.  And then I end up spending extra so I don't have to pay shipping.

As I'm getting back into riding more this year I've been making my mental list of items I "need".  It just so happened that I was in Boise this weekend, and had some time to scoot over to the Performance Bike store.  I've wanted to go there for a few years now.  It was everything I had hoped for.  The same great deals on the web, but with actual talking people to answer my questions. 

After about 30 minutes of browsing and picking and choosing and putting things back and picking more I had over $200 of stuff in my arms.  I called my wife and asked what my budget was.  Her answer..."$100". 

I re-stocked a few items and went to the counter.  My load rang up to over $180.  I pointed to one last "non-essential" item to be removed from the list, and brought it down to $163.  You know...cause "$100" really means "significantly less than $200".  I'm still debating with myself whether to tell my wife or let her discover it on her own.

I wore my new helmet today, and was terribly pleased with it!