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Daily Archives: January 22, 2012

How to avoid looking like a rookie…From a rookie.

I laughed out loud the first time I read this article – not so much because I suffered any of the embarrassing items on this list, but because some of the items are just down right hilarious.

In fact, I thanked the good Lord that I actually had enough common sense not to fall into any of these traps…  In fact, I’ve only had two embarrassing moments on my bikes so far and one certainly wasn’t my fault.  I was approaching a stop light and a left hand turn on my normal 16 mile route.  I had been pushing hard to maintain a 20 mph average (32 km/h) including stops which requires that I maintain somewhere around 23 mph when I’m actually riding – with five stop signs and eight traffic lights, I’m going to have to stop at least two or three times.  In any event, I had a little bit of a tail wind so I was making hay while I could – I was at about 30 mph and huffing big time when I started moving to the left to make my turn.  Just as I did, the light turned and I had to stop, quickly (it’s a very busy intersection).  Being in a winded state, I forgot to clip out of my pedal and darn near went down.  I only clipped out at the last millisecond and was already leaning.

The second happened when I went mountain biking for the first time (for real) at Island Lake State Park.  Now, I really was a nube to mountain biking.  The friend I went with offered to let me ride his backup bike, which was a lot nicer than my Trek 3700 (pictured below) but I was intent on riding my bike.  It wasn’t an ego thing, more of a “I spent a lot of money getting it exactly where I wanted it, it seems like sacrilege not to ride it the first time I’m playing in the dirt” kind of dealio.  The fella I was riding with is, on the other hand, very experienced.  I made a mistake in trying to keep up with him and to make matters worse, there was another equally experienced rider behind me so I didn’t want to hold him up (not ego) or look like a nube (ego).  The three of us were going down a steep hill that had a left hairpin half way down…and the turn was all sand.  I carried too much speed into the corner trying to keep up and started to slide entering the corner.  I didn’t want to fall down the cliff that I was looking at beyond the corner so I laid it down right in front of the other guy (who miraculously managed to see it coming and stop before using my butt as a ramp, launching himself into the abyss below).  I ended up with a bruised ego, and a couple of raspberries on my leg and elbow.  Fortunately the guy behind me was cool about it.

I went down again under the same circumstances, too fast and trying to keep up, but with nobody behind me before I finally figured that I needed to slow it down a bit on the descents.  So I fell off my bike twice in three miles – at 41-years-old and once with an audience.

Fortunately for me, no fashion faux pas – I don’t know if the old ego could have handled that.