Ride the Puddles


Posted by bikezilla on June 29, 2010

I think I know why I haven’t made much attempt to start road riding.

There are CARS on the roads. I know, most of you were probably totally unaware of that. It’s my pleasure to inform you.

Here’s some more news you probably haven’t heard. Cars are big and they move a lot faster than a bike and a lot of the people who drive them are either distracted, blind with age or just plain mentally ill.

No, I didn’t meet any of those horrible wretches today. But, that’s just ONE day! They can pop up any ole time and SMASH, there goes my head or, worse, my bike.

I mention this because today, for the first time, I rode from my house all the way out to Waterfall Glen, instead of driving.

I really would have done it sooner, but I only just discovered a reasonably bike friendly route . . . except for that area where I have to cross right in front of the on and off ramps for I-355 with no sidewalk, light controls or even crosswalk to “shield” me from the distracted, the blind and the crazy.

Anyway, in addition to bravely facing, nay, challenging death with every pedal stroke, today was to be an easy day . . . kind of.

But I really wanted to push for 35 MPH in a place or two, again, and it isn’t like my mommy was there, so who was gonna say, “Now, Bikezilla, you know that when your legs are sore you really should take a nice, easy ride and forget about any kind of big push.”? Plus, mom’s a lush, so unless I rode too close and knocked the bottle of Jack out of her hand, she’d be good with whatever I was doing.

Woodward Ave has a really nice stretch that I couldn’t resist pushing on, but I was so focused on thumbing my nose at Death that I forgot to get off the hoods and into the drops and I topped out at 33 MPH, short of my best speed from two days ago.

After that my legs had too little in them for a serious attempt. The best I could manage from there on was 29.9 MPH and I was at my absolute limits to push that hard.

So it was one time out to the 97th st / Cass ave trailhead and then back.

Coming back to 97th st I arrived just ahead of a guy on a touring bike, wearing a yellow jersey (obviously thinking that because he “wins” his ride home every day vs . . . himself, that he qualifies as leader of his own personal GC).

I make the turn back down toward 101st st, he cuts across the highway, continuing on 97th st.

It’s 8 blocks per mile (because we’re still on the Chicago grid system, even though we’re an hour out from Chicago), so my route takes me a mile farther than mister sissy-boy cheater.

But I don’t know that he isn’t behind me until I make the turn back on to Woodward and the sneaky little snake comes out half a mile ahead of me.

But we’re pretending that neither of us really cares about beating the other, so he keeps on looking  back, and if I’m closing he adds just a little speed to his ride, but not enough to make it look like he really cares about me catching him.

At the same time,  I keep acting like I don’t notice him looking back, while pushing myself just a little harder, keeping in just a little bigger gear.

Over the next two miles I just about caught him, though neither of us was really pushing like it was a race. He ended up beating me back to Boughton rd by about 5 bike lengths.

Hopefully we’ll meet again.


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