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Archive for the 'Rant' Category

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.

Therapeutic ride

Tuesday, May 20th, 2008

I pounded out a few miles after work in an attempt to take out some work-related frustrations. It worked somewhat, but not as well as usual. Then again, the problems I’m encountering there are bigger than usual. I was in a foul mood and it was overcast and cool, and it rained lightly at various points throughout my ride. The sprinkles felt good, and the dreary day suited my mood perfectly.

Normally, when I’m riding, I’m able to clear my mind. That didn’t happen tonight, but I did manage to take out most of my hostility on the pavement and returned home at least a little bit calmer and with a clearer picture of what’s going on. I still had to rant for a while once I got home, but I had already gotten the worst of it out of my system.

Side note: my bicycle rode well. I took it in to Bikesmiths yesterday to have them fix my clicking bottom bracket, do a tune-up, and replace my chain. It mis-shifted a few times, but I think as I rode the chain got settled in better and things got smoother. I was a little worried the clicking would still be there, as I’ve read that can be hard to track down, but it seems they fixed it on the first try.

Ugh

Friday, April 25th, 2008

For the first time in a long time, I drove to work today. I have a doctor’s appointment this afternoon, and while I could ride there, I don’t know of a good way. That and breathing is not going so well with my allergies acting the way they are. It was too nice of a morning to drive to work. Alas.  I’m really missing out on some of the best riding weather through all this, and it’s driving me crazy. I sure hope the doctor can give me something to help with these allergies and the headaches I’ve been getting lately.

I’m hoping to do some riding this weekend, if I can breathe well enough to do so. It’s been over two weeks now since I’ve gone for a ride, a couple of commutes notwithstanding.

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