Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Random thoughts on a Wednesday

So the weekend was nice. Short but hard/steady ride Saturday, and a longer, not really intended to be as hard as it turned out to be but glad it was in the end ride on Sunday. Left the legs feeling a little wasted Sunday night.

I plan to do the State Road Race Championship held on Fort Hood weekend after this one upcoming. It is a somewhat hillier course than that of typical Texas courses, at least in my very limited TX racing experience to date. Or so I hope. Flat and fast is not so much my forte. Long day with lots of climbing is more my cup of tea.

"Training" for it is a little more difficult as there is not much to offer locally in excess of 0.5 mile intensity is the other way to tackle this. That means long periods at high heart rates. Not exactly riding for the shear joy of it. It is the race that will hopefully be fun. It is certainly a great feeling when you have the ability to stay with the lead group when the selection is made, and not feel like you are hanging on for dear life, which is how the average criterium makes me feel.
So it will be interesting to see how things unfold.

Sunday was warmer than it seems to have been lately, and a steady and sturdy southerly wind (what would Texas be without that?) provided plenty of resistance for the first 20 or so miles. Then a turn to the west, and the much anticipated turn northerly, where the wonderful Texas Tailwind took over, adding mphs to the pace and some respite to the legs.

And then the local assclown in the giant silver pickup truck (complete with big rebel battle flag streaming from a post mounted in the center of the bed) passed and geared appropriately to leave me in a giant black cloud of diesel exhaust. Kelly Road is the location. I actually saw the house he pulled out from and had brief fantasies of paying a visit late at night and sprinkling a few boxes of roofing tacks on the offender's driveway as a return favor. I believe this is the third time I have seen this happen, other times being with some groups in the same vicinity. Ah yes, the joys of road riding in the country!

My good weekend was seriously sombered when I stumbled across news of a cyclist being hit and killed on one of the access roads along I-20 in Willow Park. Again, it turns out. This time there were no apparent mitigating circumstances (apparently the sun being in your eyes releases you from responsible driving?) and the final outcome was a dead man. Father, VP of Lockheed. killed for having tried to enjoy riding his bicycle on a shared road. Also left behind is what appears to be a highly distraught young woman who was driving the car that hit him.
These stories shake me to the core at certain moments. Icy reminder of how fragile we are and how one moment of inattention can have such tragic results. I feel sorry for all involved and my heart truly goes out to the families, while I pray I never have to be involved in something like this on any level. During these days of lessening daylight I think of my friends biking during the dark hours, and hope they stay safe. Put on those lights and be aware, be safe!


  1. If I might add a comment, I also suggest cyclists wearing BRIGHT clothing and reflective vests, in addition to the lights, in order to increase visibility. I am NOT talking about wearing black shorts and black jerseys. They don't make you visible and you know it.

    Peace and be safe :)

  2. Don't know where you live but if it's hills you want you might take the car out and putt around white settlement road outside the loop...say paint pony trail and north verna, or further out say out to rancho dr/covered bridge between white settlement and 1886. there's a jim dandy (but lone) hill on La Cantera...this is all in 76108.

  3. p.s. the reason i suggest for you to use your car to get out there is because white settlement rd and 1886 (confederate pkwy) are narrow and heavily trafficked, making them (stating the obvious) dangerous.

  4. I have a friend that lives on Paint Pony and I agree- there are some very steep hills around there!