Micheal Fioretti commented on my short post about matching my bike and kit up about some intricacies he’s trying to work through with his new ride and that gave me an idea for a new post that I’ve found really helps with riding on the roads… It looks like this coming Wednesday is going to be a good day for photos – sunny and somewhere around 70 F (YES!) so I’ll post some in my full getup (and if I get a good enough one I can finally change my gravatar picture to something more, um…shirted).
Now, I’ve never made a big deal about this on my blog, but I’m a huge fan of my country – not my mom’s country of origin (Ireland) or my dad’s (Italy), technically they’re both mutts to a degree that figuring it out just gets ridiculous so I stick with the two main nationalities – but the good ole’ USA. I’m rocking an American Flag tattoo on my right shoulder, both of my road bikes are done up in red, white and blue, I have a USA jersey, hell I even have a pair of Old Glory swimming trunks – you get the idea… I’m as American as my mom’s apple pie, which is only bested by my mother-in-law’s apple pie. This is not a “my country is better than yours” pampas bloviation, it’s not an ego thing, I just love being American.
That being said, and having ridden in all types of colors, the best times I have riding on the roads are when I’m fully decked out in my red, white and blue regalia. I’m sure there are some America haters out there who contemplate running me over, at least for a second, but the vast majority of people give me more leeway than usual when they pass. On top of that, I’ll get well intentioned honks from passing cars, the thumb’s up out the window and even the occasional “woo-hoo!” It’s really quite cool. Now, I live in a very small town in Michigan, a town in which the normal folks really appreciate exercise and those of us who are out there. I feel very blessed to be able to ride relatively comfortably and safely wherever I want to go and have only ever run into two jerks and two idiots in over 2,000 miles. However, my rides are noticeably much safer in the red, white and blue. This is, of course, because I stick out – it’s not often that you see a riding American Flag on the road. I’ve tried other tactics before but they lack, um… panache. I’ve written often about riding down to my running club on Saturdays…well before I picked up the proper gear I had to use one of my daughter’s back packs to bring my running shoes with me. It happened to be a Betty Boop leopard print back pack with red piping… I couldn’t see myself, but if I had to guess, I stuck out (I’ll guarantee you that) and I looked absolutely A#1 hilarious.