A Cyclist's Guide for Oblivious Drivers

I was so mad riding my bike yesterday. It was in the evening and there were tons of deer and turkeys out. I was riding in a large and hilly park since there were t-storms close and I didn't want to be too far from my car if it started to thunder and lightning.

What ticked me off were the people in cars that were stopping the in middle of the road to look at deer like they were some exotic animal at the zoo. I come flying down a hill and around a corner to find a SUV parked int he middle of the driving lane, with another car parked in the other lane gawking as well. I slammed on the brakes and barely squeezed through, right as one driver started moving again, without checking for traffic. There were parking spaces within 100 yd and plenty of room to pull over on the shoulder. I'm tired of inattentive drivers who have complete disregard for other cars, bikes, and pedestrians on the road.

I've come up with a list for drivers who don't also ride bike and seem to think we're just a nuisance on two wheels. If every driver knew these things, the world would be safer for cyclists.

1. Don't expect a bike to get over on the shoulder for you to pass. Especially if it's gravel. Bikes have the same right-of-way as cars and gravel is dangerous for a road bike. I do not need to move to facilitate your giant SUV making a pass.
2. Before passing, take a minute to gauge how fast the bike is moving, particularly if you need to make a right turn. We may be going faster than you think. Every cyclist has been cut off or clipped by someone who speeds up to pass and then makes an immediate turn.
3. When passing, give as much room as possible. In cross-winds, it is damn near impossible to hold a straight line on a bike. You may think it's funny to pass by close, but if that cyclist is blown into your path, you will still be at fault and Gatorade makes a sticky mess.
4. Give room for making stops. A bike moving at 25 mph takes more distance to stop than a car at 25 mph (think "itty-bitty brakes").
5. Be cautious around cyclists in the aero position. You know, the guys and gals in the tighty-short shorts who are hunched over their bikes like Lance. A cyclist in the aero position is less stable than normal, and they don't have quick access for their brakes. They have responsibilities for their own safety, but just use a little extra caution.

There is a reason I ride in the country where there's little traffic. Hillbilly dogs, on the other hand, are a whole different problem.



Since the 1/2, I've only managed a few workouts and I'm feeling a little lazy. On the flip side, we're been moving into our house and doing work on the remodel, so it's not like I'm sitting on the couch at night. I'm trying to decide what races I want to do next, but I also really need to work on the hosue so we're not living in a construction zone.

I could use about 6 more hours every day.

Tonight I'm planning on a 30+ mile ride. That should get me back in the swing of things. It'll be hot, too - temps in the 90s. Since the Tornado Alley ride is July 12 and during the day, I figure I need to get used to the weather. I just have a hard time pulling myself away from the house when I know there's work to be done.

I'm hoping that over the course of the next year I can drop about 5 pounds permanently, and then next race season drop another 5. I eat well most of the time, I just need better portion control. And to lay off the ice cream. So now I've said it - I'm going to lose those last 5 pounds for good. I think next I'll have to come up with a list of goals for next year's racing season. This year I want to get in a few more races, but with life moving at the speed of light, I can't train as much as I'd like. I figure I have my whole life to race. My husband is tired of being a widow, as well. Once we move back in together, he'll probably look forward to my 2+ hour workouts so he has the house to himself.


Dirty Duo RR

This picture says it all. We raced in a team adventure race this weekend and had a blast. The format of the race was that one person would run 1 mile while the other would bike. At the mile markers, you had to complete a challenge and then switch. It was 6 miles total with 6 obstacles.
I started on the bike and J started on the run, since those are our corresponding strengths. The timing worked really well - J would show up at the challenge with the bike as I was ready to start the bike leg. The challenges were 1) agility course 2) gunny sack 3) kid's tunnel 4) giant inflatable 5) slip and slide 6) mud pit.
I was the first girl through the first 2 miles and then I got caught on the run. Eventually there were 2 girls that had passed me on the run, but I passed them on the bike. We made it in to the waiting area near the mud pit at the end since you have to crawl through the mud with your partner. We were waiting and waiting and finally I saw J come in! Right as he got in, another girl showed up and we sprinted toward the pit. Luckily the other couple didn't even give chase.
We made it through in 48:24 and won the co-ed division! As prizes, I won a free pair of Salomon trail shoes and J picked up a North Face duffel bag. We were hoping to win the Garmin 305 in the raffle, but alas, it was not to be. We did win free burritos from Chipotle, so it was a very profitable day. We will have to return next year to defend our title!


Starting Over

October 2007: After I settled in with a new job, I realized I was restless and needed something to do. I had done a sprint distance triathlon in 2006 and thought I should get back into it. I only did one race, but I really enjoyed it. So after cruising the internet at lunch one day, I signed up for an Ironman 70.3.

That's right, I signed up for a 1/2 Ironman with only 1 sprint distance race under my belt. I had plans to do at least 1 more sprint before the big race so I would double my racing experience. This is where the crazy comments started.

Fast forward to June 15, 2008. Ironman Kansas 70.3
The race was going well, much better than I had hoped, actually. Until the thunderheads rolled in and the course was closed early. I was pulled from the course at mile 11 on the run. (For a full race report, go to www.roecircle.blogspot.com)

Today: I've already picked out my next 70.3 race, which I know I can, and will, finish. I have a few smaller races I want to do this year so my season isn't a complete waste. Tomorrow John and I are competing in a team adventure race - the Dirty Duo. After this weekend, I plan on putting together a new training plan for the shorter races and a long-term plan for overall better fitness. In life, I generally believe every experience shapes the person we are. While I'm disappointed I didn't get to finish my first 70.3 I wouldn't change anything and instead I'm looking forward to even more racing in the future.