Experimental music, photography, and adventures

A very frustrating ride

Monday, June 23rd, 2008

On Sunday I was preparing to go for a road ride when I discovered a flat tire on my road bike. A bit reluctantly, I decided to take my commuter instead, even with its sketchy brake situation. I wanted to do something a bit different, so I decided to ride to Paynetown on Lake Monroe, and finally take Knightridge Road to avoid 446 for part of the ride, something I had been meaning to do for a while. The rolling hills on Smith Road were fun, and then I hit 446.

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Field

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Field across the street from the other field

So I was still on 446 briefly, but soon I came to Knightridge Road. I turned onto it and really enjoyed this alternate route, it’s much quieter with slower speed limits. There was very little traffic.

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Riding on Knightridge

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Car filled and covered with junk

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Bob Jones’ house, which I’ve written about before

Eventually Knightridge spits you back out on 446. I finally rode up the driveway by the Scenic View sign I see every time I go through here but have never explored. It’s a rather steep driveway that I normally just ride past.

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Scenic View sign

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A scenic view indeed

A  couple of miles later, I reached the turnoff to Paynetown State Recreation Area. There’s a huge hill down to it, on which I picked up tremendous speed. It felt fantastic. I have an annual state park pass, so I showed it to the lady at the gate, and she waved me past.

I was stunned by the number of people with boats I saw. The parking lot by the boat ramp was apparently full, because the road leading to the ramp had trucks with boat trailers parked on both sides of the road. I don’t think I’ve ever seen it this crowded.

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Trucks with boat trailers

I was thinking the flooding might be lower, and if it was I was going to wade into the water a bit, but as it turned out, the beach and much of the rest of the area is still very much flooded.

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Flooding

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More flooding

I didn’t stay long. I turned around to head home. The climb back up to 446 was difficult, as you might imagine.

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Climbing back up to 446

While I had a pleasant ride there, my ride home was extremely frustrating. I can’t remember the last time I was this frustrated on a bicycle. Many times, I was passed by trucks pulling boats on trailers, and at least one of them cut me off. The ones who didn’t cut me off were very much assholes to me as well. I really can’t imagine what their hurry could have been, heading home on a Sunday afternoon from what I can only presume must have been a relaxing day, or weekend, of boating on the lake. Whatever the reason, I was treated very badly by almost everyone who passed me who was hauling a boat. It’s very frightening getting cut off by a truck and nearly being taken out by the trailer. Part of this road has no shoulder and during the parts that do I tend not to ride on it as it has a lot of debris. I ended up taking the lane for part of the ride, for my own safety.
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One of many boats that passed me

Fortunately, I only had to ride a few miles before I could get off 446 and back on Knightridge. Here, I thought, I’d be safe. And while I didn’t see any boats on this road, a small car came up behind me and layed on their horn, passing me and cutting me off, nearly running me off the road. I was stunned; normally people on quiet, slow country roads are very courteous and are not in a hurry. I don’t know what this guy’s problem was, but I was very frustrated.

I had to ride a little more on 446, this time I took the shoulder. This was also one of few times I’ve felt unsafe on a bicycle. It felt like everyone was out to get me on this day. I took Moore’s Pike back over to Smith Road.

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Another field

While I was riding on Smith Road, yet another motorist blared his horn and passed me. After he was in front of me, I held up a hand as if to say “What the hell, man?” He pointed over to the right, as if I should have ridden in the right turn lane to get out of his way. Well, needless to say, I was not turning, so I didn’t ride in the turn lane. I shook my head “no, I won’t do that” but I don’t know if he saw it. I nearly caught up to him at the stoplight at third street — and we would’ve had words if I had. He turned just as I arrived, and I went straight. It’s just as well. I doubt anything productive would’ve been said.

I was truly horrified at people’s lack of respect for their fellow man on this day. It was one of very few rides I’ve ever done that just left me with a sense of frustration.  I rarely have significant problems with motorists — sure, people do dumb things — but people were downright malicious. If I didn’t know better, I would have thought it was Easter.

3 Responses to “A very frustrating ride”

  1. ChristopherPaul Says:

    Bad driving huh, sorry your ride was disrupted. This could really dissuade a person to never get on a bike again. On a personal note, I struggle to ride somedays because of this same situation. I live in Houston, TX.

  2. furiousball Says:

    are you going to write a song called 446 Blowout now?

  3. Marty Says:

    The stupidity and ignorance of people never ceases to amaze me. At least you didn’t get hurt or threatened – I wouldn’t have been surprised considering their other behavior. Personally, I think you need to carry a blow gun with darts in it to shoot into their tires when they pass. 🙂

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