Thursday, August 28, 2008

Yeah, Roger That

Gus called and wanted to know if I wanted to ride on Wednesday. Uh yeah that is exactly what I was planning. So an Expo group ride was planned. It was a small group. Just me on the old Cannondale and Gus on the Roger. It started as a planned route into Racine and turned into a total yeah ride. For a while we knew what direction we were going but not where we would end up. That's the ultimate yeah ride. Since I brought the bad weather bike and Gus brought his Endura rain jacket, it of course stayed dry, which was fine by me. I almost got hit by blackbird, but that was the extent of the conflicts on the road. In the end it turned out to be 58.5 miles of fun.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Invisible Man

That's what it felt like today. I almost got full on rear ended twice and got buzzed by a medical transport van and a school bus. The 2 rear end near misses were both approaching intersections with red lights. The guy in the Volvo was adamant when I caught him at the light a couple hundred feet later, that he was "nowhere near me". Take a look at the video and tell me. I wouldn't want him that close to me if I was in a car much less when I'm on a bike. It was a good ride though same weather as yesterday. Perfect, little wind lots of sun. I needed to get some miles in the legs cause they didn't feel great at WEMS at Franklin, and I gotta be ready for the Fat Tire 40 which I'm now doing. I just sent in the application yesterday. How does that work you ask. I'm replacing half a tandem. It should be a blast and a great way to do my first Cheguamegon.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Dragonfly Sunday

Took Mrs. Bikesafer for a birthday ride with a few other Expo folks at Greenbush. There were a ton of these red dragonflies landing on all our stuff. The riding was good, but Mrs. Bikesafer really needs a new bike or some new components, so off the bike shop we go. What's better than shopping on your birthday right? BTW happy birthday shout out to Gus as well. I hear that he shares a birthday with the Mrs.

75 Miles Into the Wind & Then...

Disc Golf. That's right after riding to Beaver Dam, into the wind the whole way, I played my best round of disc golf ever and beat my brother in law and nephew. Of course my nephew then proceeded to destroy me in a match of front yard wrestling. For the record he never pinned me but if it were actually being scored, he would have had me by quite a substantial margin. I think next time thumb wrestling should follow disc golf in the family olympics.

I wore the BD1 fully loaded on the way up, just to see how it would perform if I ever needed it full of stuff. I threw some good hills into the route too, just to see what it would feel like to ride hills with a full pack, just in case.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

License To Speed?

I received a letter last week written by the Brookfield City Prosecutor, to the Mayor. It was quite a surprising letter for a number of reasons. First the City Prosecutor refers to two separate incidents in the letter, one of which I didn't even bring to his attention, and he transposes the facts of the two incidents. He also makes assumptions about my reasons for contacting him about the one incident in the first place, many of which are incorrect.

I'm not going to get into all the mis-statements of fact or incorrect assumptions, as that would take to long and be far to boring for readers of this blog.

I will however discuss the most shocking part of the letter. The part where the City of Brookfield's City Prosecutor, in an official correspondence to the Mayor, seems to give tacit approval to drive a car over the posted speed limit.

Mr. Kershek says that, "if a bicyclist is traveling the posted speed limit and the average car is traveling at five miles per hour greater than the posted speed limit, the bicyclist is, by definition traveling at less than the normal speed of traffic under the conditions then existing"

Mr. Kershek goes on to say, "in the interest of safety, it is reasonable to interpret the statute as requiring bicyclist to ride as close to the right hand edge of the road whenever they are not keeping up with traffic, regardless of the speed of traffic. To allow otherwise would create an unsafe situation as cars would have be forced into the oncoming lane of traffic to pass the bicyclist, allowing the required three feet distance between them."

So if a bicyclist is traveling the maximum posted speed limit in Brookfield Wisconsin, they have to make room for motorists who are speeding so the law breaking motorists don't have to slow down to pass?

Does this mean that if all the cars on the road are speeding, I'm allowed to speed on my bicycle to keep up with the flow if traffic?

This interpretation sure seems to raise all kinds of questions. I'll get back to you if I hear any answers.


Monday, August 4, 2008

Riding With Champions

There were many champions in attendance at the 24 hour National Championships at 9 mile, and I got to ride with a few of them.

Johnny G. and I did the Championship Duo category. It was John's first 24 race. I think we made a great team. It was fun being out there with you John.

In the middle of the night last year, (my last solo race), I got passed by Chris Eatough just after the second Red Bud crossing. I tried to hang with him, but couldn’t. This year I got another shot at it. He passed me at the same point in the middle of the night, and this time I was able to hold his wheel all the way in to the finish area. It wasn’t like I was competing with him, it was just cool to come into the main pit area, right on the champion’s wheel. Another reason I bring it up is because Chris Eatough is a great champion. There are guys on every mtb course who yell, scream, and swear trying to get past you, even when there is no room to get past. In all of the 3 or 4 races I’ve competed alongside Chris, he has always been the calmest, most polite guy when it came time to pass. Even when he was in a heated battle where every second counted he understood that you were racing too. Thanks Chris, you do the jersey proud.

Then later in the race, in the early morning hours, I rode with Jerry Daanen, ½ of the 2007 Championship Duo. He was just finishing out his late laps, since they had no chance of losing 4th and little chance of moving up.
We talked for a mile or two about the strength of the field and the race, and just having fun riding. Then we got to the long gravel road with the 2 short climbs and he showed why he was the reigning champion, as he rode away from me on his singlespeed. It was good ridin you with Jerry.

As the sun started to heat things up again I caught Fixedgeargus, reigning singlespeed solo champion, and Expo teammate. We rode together for a few miles and talked about the race. Just usual riding with your teammate stuff, but mostly we talked about the last champions I want to mention.

The Expo Juniors.

They don’t get to claim the official title, but they rode like champions. These guys rode their hearts out and woulda coulda and probably shoulda been wearing the Stars and Stripes. They finished second by only a few minutes, after 24 hard hours of racing.
I say woulda coulda shoulda because if you take away one flat tire and one fluke accident with a errant pedestrian, the finishing time gap might have been 5 minutes the other way. But as they say in NASCAR, it was just one of those racin’ deals.
Stuff happens in a race and that’s why you do the race. You never know until it’s over, and that is why the Expo Junior Team are all champions to me. They gave their all, worked as a team and never gave up. They have what it takes to be on the top step if they ride like they did this weekend they will get there very soon. You guys were the class of the Expo team, and I think the class of the field this weekend. I’m very proud of all of you.

It was a great weekend and a great way to finish out my last 24-hour race.

Oh, and the bonus, John and I got to stand on a National Championship podium. We ended up 5th place in the Championship Duo category. Thanks John, it was a fun race.
Maybe next year I’ll find out if it’s more fun in the pits than on the racecourse.
I’ll have pictures as soon as fixedgeargus sends some.