Monday, September 10, 2012

Weekend warriors

I have a raging head cold.  R A G I N G.  But since it's still just above my shoulders, I figured that I should get out and ride both days over the weekend.  Especially since the weather was so nice and who knows how long that'll last...

Wow, what a bunch of boorish riders out.  BOTH days.  Many have a pet peeve of wheel suckers.  I say, if you can hold my wheel and dodge the snot rockets (allergies + cold = messy), my wheel is yours.  What annoys me more than anything is when people take themselves so seriously that they can't bother to call out "on your left", "great day, isn't it?" or just plain "hi" when passing.  When did every other cyclist become "the enemy"?  I found this was exclusive to men.  ALL weekend.  WTF?

Now, with a head cold, I'm doing the good old, Z1/Z2 ride.  Trying to keep my heart rate at a reasonable level, trying to get outside, and trying to get some fresh air and exercise.  I expect to be passed, a lot.  And I was.  But I swear to you, not a single person said a thing to me on Saturday (only one person did on Sunday).  Both days had interesting surprises, so let's just start with Saturday.

On my way home, on Foothill (home of the Foothill Olympics), I catch a gaggle of men at a traffic light.  I wasn't sure if they were all together, or what, but most of them were dressed in street clothes:  shorts, t-shirts and tennis shoes.  One guy had clip-in shoes.  Frankly, I don't care, I just noticed.  A few were wobbly, so I tried to roll up by them and get closer to the front, so I didn't get entangled once everyone started wobbling forward.  I got through and was happily in Z2 when one of those guys buzzed me.  He never said a word.  But I could tell by his body language that he was turning himself INSIDE OUT.  Hey buddy, good for you, but I'm in Z2...  He got further up the road, but Foothill being Foothill, he got stopped at a light.  I got closer.  I got stopped at a light.  Then he hit another red that I caught green, and the next thing you know, I'm on top of him.  Why do people ride the white line?  I never, ever assume I'm fastest, and stay over to the right to get out of the way (esp for distracted motorists who sometimes drive the white line because I guess the car lane isn't wide enough for their bad driving or something).  I digress.  Dude is flailing and as Phil would say, "He's all over his machine", and with that, he's kind of all over the bike lane too.  I check the car lane:  clear.  So I pass him, making sure to squeak out (my voice is going in and out with this cold):  "On your left".  I roll on.  Shoot, out of zone!  So I slow up a bit. Well, the guy is flailing along behind me, trying to catch and pass me.  Seriously?  I check and wait till he's about 1/2 a bike length back, then I just dropped the hammer on him.  Didn't sprint.  Didn't attack.  Just drilled it and rode away from him.  "Pass me now, b*tch".  :o)  Z5 does not equal Z2, sorry coach, but that boy needed to be schooled.  I hit the turn lane and rode home, gently.  Shortly afterwards, I dropped my cough drop, grabbed a handful of front brake and nearly ate it.  Oops.  It's a cough drop for crying out loud!

Sunday was more of the same, but I forced myself to not be so damned competitive.  I ran into two other guys at Woodside when I was getting water that afternoon, and all 3 of us commiserated about the same thing:  rude riders.  I even heard/watched the one compliment a guy on his bike.  Dude just ignored him and rode away.  ???  There's a chance he didn't hear him, or a chance he was just an unpleasant person.  But I don't understand that mentality.  If someone waves, you wave back.  If someone nods, you nod back.  You let a rider know you're passing and it doesn't have to be mean or sarcastic.  A simple "hi" is sufficient.

When did bike riders become the enemy to OTHER BIKE RIDERS?

Heck with 'em all.  I still had an enjoyable weekend on the bike.  But I also still have this cold.  Big bummer!