Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Bad Decisions

A short story of my ride yesterday...

Yesterday I ventured out after work for a ride. There was no way I was going to pass up the opportunity to ride in shorts during January. The plan was for a 2 1/2 to 3 hour ride on my favorite road bike - my near vintage DEAN Castanza. I was not taking off until 4:30 so two hours of the ride were in the dark, but that is what lights are for and reflective clothing.

Ride starts off good and my legs were feeling great. I had taken off from training on Sunday to go shooting with Christopher and Carolynn. Felt I need the rest after Saturday's recon on the BB36 course. Speaking of shooting, that wife of mine is quite the shot with that old Mosin Nagant rifle, but I do believe it is a little large for her.

I only mention guns because I felt like I wanted wanted to use one a couple of time during my ride. As I mentioned above my ride was going great for the first 5 miles of the ride. As I am heading South towards Riverside on Waukomis Drive a car pulls up besides me. It is car full of young kids. I use that term loosely as they were really a bunch of black punks. They proceeded to start yelling at me and threatening me. Half the stuff they said I did not understand. I just kept riding and ignored them. I really do not like confrontation and at times like these wish my brother Joey was with me. Anyways, they start to swerve towards me and start reaching out their car. This made me very mad and at the same time scared. I did not know really what to do other than pull over. When I did they kept going. But what if they didn't? This is one reason I really hate riding on the road but is a necessary evil that I hope very few have to endure. I think I might start carrying some pepper spray but were these kids really bad or did they just make bad decisions.

I continue on and head West toward Parkville. My planned route was to take the Missouri Riverfront Trail over to Parkville and keep off the high traffic roads. That plan was nixed due to trail is still closed and I am not buying their excuse. It is a damn shame that they have kept this Northland gem closed. I end up jumping on Hwy 9 which is not that bad and does have a shoulder which I do use. Luckily today I was on the shoulder. About a mile out of Parkville I am rolling along trying to forget about those punks in Northmoor and enjoy my ride when I hear a large truck approaching. I am on the shoulder so I do not worry to much, but all of a sudden I am about blown off my bike as the semi blows past me on the shoulder. Half his vehicle was on the road and the other half was on the shoulder. He swerves back in his lane and proceeds on. I do not think he did this on purpose but instead most likely made a bad decision and was trying to text and drive.

So far my fun ride is not so fun, but I carry on my planned path. My route takes me up Crooked road and I start the climbing for the afternoon. Crooked road is a very hilly route and usually a pleasant ride with very little traffic. Not so much this evening. As I start the climb I settle into my normal climbing cadence. The days light is getting less so I turn on my flashing rear light. All is well until I hear a car behind me. I get as far as possible to the right but no one passes. There is plenty of room but the driver is being nice. I wave them to pass and finally the Volvo passes me with care. The next driver to pass is not so nice. I guess driving behind the Volvo going 8 mph pissed this bitch off big time. She starts to lay on her expensive SUV vehicles horn, yells at me, waves her hands in such a way that one would think that the world was about to come to an end and then cuts me off as she accelerates by. But the world was not coming to an end. The only thing that happened was she postponed her arrival time by about a minute and I realized that not only young punks can be assholes, but housewife's that make bad decisions can be too.

I stop atop the hill to reflect and decided that bad things usually happen in threes. The next hours was a pleasant ride and I enjoyed a nice tailwind rolling lightly travel roads. I work my way back over Zona Rosa where traffic starts to pick up so I opted to see if I could find this trail located along 152 & I 29 that I noticed a few weeks ago. Sure enough I find it and it is appropriately name - 152 Trail. Only a short section is currently built, but at least it got me away from the increasing traffic. I work my way over Barry road and feel relieved that I am almost home and should be on the Line Creek Trail soon which is only two miles from my house.

As I make my way through the residential streets I start to feel my rear tire become a little soft. I pull over and sure enough I have a soft tire. Not completely flat, but low enough that I was starting to "ping" the rim. I was a little depressed to tell you the truth. For the past several months I had been riding a tubeless road setup. Over 750 miles without trouble. A quick check of the tire and I find a shard of glass in the tire. I remove the glass and notice I still have some Stans sealant in the tire. I pump her back up and sure enough the hole seals up. That is why I just love tubeless. I am quickly off and thankful that I made a good decision when I went tubeless.

I stop at the entrance to the Line Creek Trail and send a picture of the trail to Carolynn and let her know that I am o.k. and will be home in about 10 minutes. I continue along the dark path, which you guessed it, travels along Line Creek and through Robinhood Park. Robinhood park also is adjacent to several hundred acres of undeveloped land. Very peaceful place and one that I hike/trail run in since it is very close to my house. As I ride along I hear some noise in the woods and realize that it is something large. Most likely several deer. Nothing wrong with with Bamby per say, but when deer get spooked and start running you best watch out. Before I knew it a small herd of deer coming buzzing in front of me with one just behind me that narrowly misses me. I have heard of riders getting hit by dear before and with my luck tonight I thought that was next. I escape with only a scare and laugh off the indecent as par for the course tonight.

I decide to ride the sidewalk along 68th street back home. As I crest the hill and begin descending I remember there is a section of sidewalk that is broken up and would most likely damage my tire/wheel if I hit it at speed. I decided to jump on 68th street to avoid the damaged sidewalk and had to ride against traffic for a short time. At the time no traffic was on 68th street but soon several cars pulled on and headed West directly into my path. I could not get back onto the sidewalk yet so I quickly shoot across the road cutting between several cars. One of which just happened to be a police officer. Just my luck tonight. The officer turns on her lights and proceeds to chase me down. Wisely I pull over. The female officer asked me "What the hell was I doing". I explain about the sidewalk, my tubeless setup, my expensive wheelset and not wanting to damage my vintage DEAN bike. She then ask me "how long have I been riding" I said, well 30 years total, but only 3 hours tonight. "Don't you know better". Yes officer I do know better I stated, but sometimes you just make bad decisions.


Mark Studnicki said...

That's about how every road ride I ever did there over 6 years went. Cars fool of punks, bitches in SUV's, etc.

wdavebike said...

The good news is you made it home safe. The punks will likely be in jail some day and the bitch is likely just that, a miserable bitch.

HellBilly said...

WTF!!!! My training would have been over with the car load of punks!!! Would have used them for cross training !!! Ugh!! I remember the same crap happening on federal hwy to me!! The punks hung out the window and slapped me on the ass!!!! I have never seen a bigger bunch of cowards, if you could have seen there face when I was chasing them down !!! Lucky for them the light changed right when I was about to Attack!!!!! I think you need to bring some bear repalent , spray it in the window!!! That would be some funny sh!!t !!! Love you brother , be careful out there & we thought MX was dangerous !!!!