Thursday, June 13, 2013

Breaking 100

Took the same route as Sunday (19.2 km) to push the odometer over 100. Managed it in 46 minutes, too, even with a strong headwind for over half the ride. I'm feeling better about the saddle, I guess.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Slow To The Saddle

It's been a slow start to the season for me -- the odometer reads 88 km. Pathetic. In years past I clocked that at least once a week. I'm not feeling much love for the saddle this year. I'm not sure what all contributes to this malaise, but certainly the weather has been a significant disincentive. It's been cold and rainy and not a little windy.

When I was young I loved those conditions. I jumped aboard my Fisher and rode directly into the wind. I can recall one rainy Manitoba Saturday when I pedaled from my parents' house in west Winnipeg out to Headingley. Once there I ripped up and down the Assiniboine's riverbanks. When I was sufficiently covered in mud, I rode back to Winnipeg.

I stopped at the neighborhood drug store to pick up a Mars Bar. I bumped into a seven-year-old boy with his mother, and he gawped up at me with that, "The gods walk amongst us!" look. Definitely not the sort of gaze that greets me when I ease myself off the saddle these days.

Inclement weather isn't entirely to blame, however. This morning was brilliant -- sunny, light breeze. Years ago this would have inspired me to extend the ride. Today I was happy to book a modest 19 km in 48 minutes, and call it quits. For whatever reason, I'd rather tie on my shoes and engage in an hour's worth of walking, Strident Alpinist style. That's what my aging bod seems to be calling for, I guess.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Workout Music: "Get Carter"

The most played workout track, according to my infernal device, is this snappy movie theme by Roy Budd:

The turn-of-the-mil reheat is quite respectable, thanks to the reliable beat:

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Road Closed

How serious could it be?

Pretty serious.

Ah! Bridge out. No way to cross on the West side, without getting my feet wet.

The East side, on the other hand...


It's nothing but an increasingly distant memory.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Road Stats, 06-v-12

It was too early in the season to attempt Wilfred. Instead of pushing further, I should have done a light 30 minutes, and left it at that. I should have. For the next few days my shoulders and butt will be reminding me of this neglected wisdom.

To Wilfred and back, 24 kms, in 1 hr and 7 mins. The length of time taken is one sign of just how much more challenging the hills en route to Wilfred are than the ones surrounding Little Britain. Here is an earlier Wilfred-related post. (Took me 1 hr and 35 mins? Yikes: those were knobby tires.)

Friday, May 4, 2012

Road Stats, 03-v-12

The Jake and I are back on the road, thanks to the fine folks at my favourite local bike shop. I rode the obligatory spring round-trip to Woodville and back. 19.14 km in 47 minutes.

Yo, cyclists: learn to wave, will ya?

Disclaimer: this is a gripe directed primarily at road cyclists on country highways. City cyclists, who definitely have their own issues, should keep their hands on the handlebars at all times, unless signalling a turn. “What's that?” you ask. “'Signalling a turn'? Qu'est-ce que c'est?” Oh, but don't get me started. Alright: back to the highways.

You road cyclists — what a surly, unsympathetic bunch you are. I should know: I've been in your number for the past five years, and counting.

When I first took to the highways and saw one of you approaching me from the opposite direction, I figured the cyclist's etiquette was that of the motorcyclist. You give a little wave, get a wave back, and off you both go, grateful for the smidgen of bon homie.

But no. When I waved, what I got in return was an impassive stare that all but said, “You're new here, aren't you — ass-wipe?”

And you wonder why motorists are antagonistic toward you from the git-go. They hate you — yet feel twinges of remorse every time a Monarch Butterfly gets smeared across their windshield. What accounts for this difference in empathy? For one thing, the butterfly had the decency to wave.

If you're a road cyclist reading this, there are two things I desperately wish you'd do. First and foremost, I wish you'd study up on the rules of the road so that, at the very least, you knew which rule you're breaking at any given time. Not infrequently, that's been all of them at once. And — I don't know, it must be all this fresh air you're inhaling — you have this sanctimonious smile on your face as you do it, too. Combine that with the outfit you're wearing, and it's no surprise people want you under their wheels.

The second thing I'd like every road cyclist to do is WAVE.

When should you wave? Whenever some middle-aged putz on a bike is approaching you from the opposite direction, grinning and waving like a fool who hopes you'll be his friend, would be a good start.

But the most important time to wave is: whenever a vehicle passes you.

Why? Because you're acknowledging being acknowledged, even if only by a few crucial feet. “But,” I hear you whine, “I have a right to that road just as much as any gravel truck.” Calm down. You think I don't know that? I know that — I've studied up on the rules of the road. But you are a bigger pain in the ass than any gravel truck.

Speaking from personal experience: most gravel truck drivers wait for the passing lane to clear before they pass me. If that doesn't deserve acknowledgement, I don't know what does. Look for that all-important side mirror, and give him a wave, dammit. Make his day just a little easier to bear.

Oh, but those motorists have such a chip on their shoulders — almost as large as the one we cyclists lug around. It's time to thaw the cold war, kiddies. Let motorists know you don't begrudge their presence on the road, even if that's a bald-faced lie. Fact is, we've got to share, and as I learned the hard way in kindergarten, a little friendliness goes a long way to helping others share with you.

So go on, give 'em a wave and a phoney smile. The motorists behind that gravel truck will all see your graciousness, and it'll be good for 'em. In fact, it might just save your life. And who knows? It might even save the life of that snooty lycra-clad rebel-without-a-clue further up the road.