Bar tender

Ride To Work Day is to the serious cyclist as St. Patrick’s Day or New Year’s Eve is to the serious drinker — amateur hour, a grim reminder that bars aren’t for everyone.

I generally pick an obscure route and an off-peak time for my cycling on this particular day, but I was both lazy and pressed for time yesterday, and used part of a heavily used bike path to get from point A to B and back again.

As I was on my way home from a pleasant outing in the hills I nearly centerpunched a noob riding on the wrong side of the path in a blind corner just past a clusterfuck of an intersection that’s already plenty dangerous for anyone who’s actually paying attention.

No harm, no foul, but still, damn. It’s nice to see new folks on bikes, but it sure would be nice if they saw us grizzled old veterans, too.

 

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26 Responses to “Bar tender”

  1. Jack Says:

    Word!

  2. John in GJ Says:

    We embraced the occasion and joined in the local Bike to Work Day festivities. That is to say, I rode around town taking advantage of multiple free breakfasts with equally expensive coffee and orange juice. A breakfast sandwhich even came home with me.

    But yes, it was the amateur hour around here too. You can always pick out the neophyte bike commuter: they’re the ones riding their bike on the exact same route they drove their car on the day before (and did again today, no doubt). This often means finding them hugging the gutter on some insanely busy four lane arterial whose designer apparently had never even heard of this thing called a “bicycle”.

    Nobody rides their bike to work ’cause the roads aren’t made for it. Then they don’t design the roads for bikes because hardly anyone rides their bike to work.

    • khal spencer Says:

      Perfect Catch-22, John: “Nobody rides their bike to work ’cause the roads aren’t made for it. Then they don’t design the roads for bikes because hardly anyone rides their bike to work.”

      • John in GJ Says:

        Hey Khal. Here in Dysfunction Junction we have an extremely popular road ride that you may have heard of: Colorado National Monument, aka “Tour of the Moon”. If you suppressed your gag reflex long enough to watch American Flyers, you saw this ride. (I need to get you, PO’G, and anyone else interested up this way to ride it.)

        Anyway, part of the 40 mile loop involves a one mile stretch of state highway that’s a real nail-biter: 12 foot wide lanes, no shoulder at all (white line is pretty much painted on the shoulder gravel) and a universally ignored 55mph speed limit. I’ve talked to lots of local and out of town cyclists who simply won’t do the loop ’cause of this one mile segment.

        Well, CDOT paved this road this year and I, and others, spent the last six months trying to convince them to add bike lanes. The wouldn’t and didn’t because (here it comes) the road is “underutilized” as it is. So the bicycle traffic on a dangerous road isn’t great enough to justify making it less dangerous.

        “That’s some catch, that Catch-22,” he observed.
        “It’s the best there is,” Doc Daneeka agreed.

        (Here’s part of our so far unsuccessful effort: https://www.change.org/petitions/colorado-department-of-transportation-and-the-regional-transportation-planning-office-of-mesa-county-colorado-add-bike-lanes-to-a-one-mile-section-of-state-highway-340-east-of-the-west-entrance-to-colorado-national-monument-in-mesa-county-colorado)

      • khal spencer Says:

        So the gene for morons made it north past the state line, eh?

      • John in GJ Says:

        I think the infection started here and moved south. They appear at times to have honed idiocy to a fine art.

      • Larry T. Says:

        I remember that ride from way back in the Coors Classic daze. Gorgeous! But back then it was pretty normal road traffic-wise and the powers-that-be didn’t seem to object to the race using the circuit. One time (1988?) the race came to the finish in GJ to find some sort of hostage situation, so the podium ended up being the tailgate of a pickup truck!

      • John in GJ Says:

        You’ve one heck of a memory, Larry. Yea, it was 1988, and the start/finish was in front of the courthouse, and yes, a “hostage situation” did necessitate moving the start and the finish of the race by a couple blocks. I only know this from recently watching a DVD on the Coors Classic (possibly available from your library, which is where I found it).

        I rode the loop on Tuesday, and it’s as gorgeous as ever. I’m sure there’s more traffic, though, since there’s more traffic pretty much everywhere. That bad one mile stretch without bike lanes sucks but it’s not something most of us haven’t seen before, and no reason not to ride the loop in my opinion. Standing invite to ride it to any of the PO’G followers who happen to pass this way.

      • Steve O Says:

        Gotta be somehow related:

        http://fivethirtyeight.com/datalab/why-women-dont-cycle/

  3. khal spencer Says:

    Word indeed. On of many problems with bicycle paths. They are populated by the same amateurs and bozos as we see on the road. The good news is if you have a head on crash with a bicyclist, chances are you will survive, as my friend Joe Smoot did in a crash much like you describe. Joe, a husky hillbilly from western Maryland (and senior geologist at the USGS) flattened a kid in a blind corner. I think the kid may have gotten up on a nine count.

    Few days ago an Albuquerque cyclist had a head on encounter with a badly driven garbage truck. I think they saved the leg, but she was pretty badly injured.

    Have a related rant here.
    http://www.labikes.blogspot.com/2014/03/paths-as-transportation.html

  4. LunaGroper Says:

    Ah… the ignorant and oblivious, it is tough to remain cordial when our local beloved multi-use path is full of ‘cyclists’ with white wires drooping from their ears.
    Though I also do love the pedestrians I approach from behind who walk in the middle of the path and when they hear my brass bell invariably think its the Archangel Gabriel calling them–as they crane their necks skyward searching for the source of my ding dings.

  5. Pat O'Brien Says:

    Amateur hour? Same thing my Dad called St. Paddy’s day. Must be an Irish thing. Didn’t ride yesterday so I was oblivious to the ear bud wearing “oblivions.” Forecast, mostly hot until dark then mostly warm. S2D2 for the next 4 days.

  6. karen Says:

    a few more gray hairs pop up?

  7. Sharon Says:

    I biked to work today. Started at home and ended at home. Rode 42 great miles. While working, I was never able to ride to start the day – crappy roads and no showers at work. But I am always in awe of the bike-to-work group and think it’s great in theory. In reality, it’s best to live really super close to work and then either ride or walk there. The farther away is most difficult, including if you drive, but especially if you ride or walk.

  8. Boz Says:

    Spent ride to work day having a chemically induce stress test. Now that’s a fun use of time you don’t have or may not have ant time, depending on the results. Recently acquired AFIB has shut down all but 28 percent of my heart, making me very tired and cranky 24 out 24 hours a day. The cardiologist thinks it’s been going on for some time and hopes to get it back in sync by doing a TEE and if all is clear, a cardioversion next Tuesday. Wish me luck, because stopping and then jump starting a heart, especially mine, sounds like no fun. Especially if it doesn’t work.

    • Pat O'Brien Says:

      Have (present tense) a friend that had a cardioversion after an irregular heartbeat started a few months after a coronary bypass. It did the trick, and he has been doing fine for over a year. Good luck Boz, and get well quick. You should only get cranky when you run out of beer.

  9. John Dallager Says:

    Boz: Best!!

  10. Steve O Says:

    Saw this group this morning (never seen any of them out before): 2 guys and a lady friend. One full postal kit + Trek bike. One full discovery kit on a cervelo. One pearl izumi outfit on a colnago. But here’s the thing: no helmets, and riding on the sidewalk. And it’s not like they were done and exiting into the sidewalk; 20 minutes later, still on the sidewalk a couple of miles further down the avenue

  11. mountainhigh10200 Says:

    Side note. People often wonder at the number of World class bike handlers who break collarbones a few days before Worlds. They are all from different countries and some of the daffy bastards ride on the wrong side of the road. So two pro athletes are munching a power bar at a closure rate this path was never intended for and they both veer to avoid the oncoming rider. instant full speed collision as they both turn towards one another and neither one is thinking about brakes.
    Actually if you wrench at some of those events remember some of those kooks run their brake levers backwards to boot. Nothing like grabbing a handful of front brake while test riding a bike at speed. Even some of our guys do the backwards lever thing. I ride motos too but on a bicycle your back brake should be operated by your right hand, otherwise I will endo again.

  12. md anderson Says:

    You haven’t seen such a chewy cluster of f*ck of a “bike path” as the Golden Gate Bridge crossing. Last Saturday I was finishing a bike tour in San Francisco. After the climb over Mt. Tam it was a nerve wracking ride through Mill Valley and Sausalito, but the bridge was insane.

    Imagine a bike path over 220 ft above the water. Windy, cold, and crowded with clueless tourists on rental bikes and Marin racer-boy wanna-be’s traveling in both directions all vying for about 9 ft of path. Narrower where it goes around the stanchions. Holy shee-it. was I glad to get off it!

    I felt safer and more in control on the actual streets of San Francisco that I did there.

    • Pat O'Brien Says:

      Yea. I think we will cross that ride off the bucket list.

      By the way md, thanks for the tip on the Conti Hardshells. A new set in 700×28 in on my bike now. Ride nice, roll easy, and no flats yet.

      • md anderson Says:

        Yep they are fine tires. May you continue to be flat-free.

        Of course now I just jinxed it. 😉

  13. John Dallager Says:

    re Mountainhigh10200: Yeah……a clash of cultures alright…..and both of them well intentioned and doing everything right! Reminds me of some times I spent in the mideast, Australia, UK, etc. You’re walking up the steps at the airport and, to be courteous to the host nation individual coming down them, you move to the left……only to meet the person head on….then repeat it several times before you both realize that courtesy sometimes can lead to confrontation.

    Cheers…..JD

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