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Daily Archives: August 11, 2019

Feeling the Need for Speed; Cycling on the Open Road

I love to go fast.  I can relax and have a good time with the best of them; that’s a part of riding daily as I do, but when we’re cruising as a group, north of 22-mph, that’s when I’m having the most fun….

A cyclist was hit last week, only a mile-and-a-half from my house.  It was a hit-and-run.  From what I’ve pieced together from several different accounts, it sounds like the bike rider may have been riding on the wrong side of the road from an account of a neighbor who passed him just a minute before he was hit.  He wasn’t wearing a helmet.  The driver of a large, black RAM pickup didn’t give him enough room and hit him in the head with his mirror and knocked the rider into the ditch while knocking the mirror off his truck.

He then backed into someone’s driveway and took off, leaving the leisure rider in the ditch, bleeding from the head, ears and nose, to die.

From there, without giving away too much, the police ended up with the motorist’s plate number due to a stroke of sheer luck.  When the police visited the motorist’s home with the truck’s mirror and confronted him, the motorist lied and said he’d sold the truck more than a year back, and he’d forgotten the name of the person he sold it to.  The police asked to check his pole barn before they left, and he stated, “Not without a warrant”.  The police asked the neighbor if they could walk his property line to have a look.  They found the truck parked behind the pole barn and arrested the man.

The bike rider, amazingly, is recovering.  From what I’ve heard, he’s about 8 out of 10 and improving.

Folks, that shit shook me up pretty bad.  I’ve recently wondered whether I might want to switch to gravel riding to get out of most of the traffic.  On the one hand, I’m not dumb enough to ride on the wrong side of the road.  And I don’t leave home without my helmet… On the other, the motorist just left the guy in the ditch to die.  How f***ing depraved do you have to be to smoke a person in the head and drive away?!  F***!  Of course, all things being equal, if I was hit on a back, dirt road, I’d never be found (actually, I would.  I use a Garmin with crash detection and notification).

In the end, though, in all seriousness, I really do live on the edge of cycling heaven.  We have hundreds of miles of paved roads with light traffic on which to ride, and now that I’ve figured out how to effectively avoid traffic using my radar… well, I feel a lot safer, anyway.  

Still, I pulled the gravel bike out of the garage the other day and knocked the cobwebs off.  I lubed up the chain a bit and filled the tires to 50 psi (they were down to 10) and rode the back roads with Chuck on Friday and my wife yesterday.  Both days were slow.  Both days a little boring.  Oh, but it was nice to get out of the traffic for a minute.

I just might stick to gravel on the solo rides for a while.  Until I can get my head right.

Still though, it all comes down to the speed.  I just love the speed.  And the toys.  Mostly the speed, though.  Going fast makes me smile.