“In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” - Albert Einstein

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Why Are Bicycle Riders So Unfriendly?

Hard-core bicycle riders are easy to spot, once you know what to look for. The skin-tight clothing reveals that they look to be so thin as to seem not much wider than the bicycle they are pedaling. Their clothing is covered with the names of bicycles costing several thousand dollars. You usually see them hunched over their handlebars, staring at the road ahead as they keep a steady rhythm of pedaling.
What I've learned about these folks is that they are typically unfriendly and standoffish towards other bike riders. Motorcycle riders usually wave at each other when they pass. There's a certain camaraderie shared when you encounter another person willing to take the risks of riding a motorcycle in traffic. Not so with the hard-core bicyclist. I always wave as I pass. If they even deign to look my way, the most I get is perhaps a finger raised. But even that much is unusual. Last week I waved at a pair of fellow travelers as they rode by in the opposite direction. They merely stared at me as they passed. I had to laugh at the encounter because they reminded me of a couple of lemurs.
I don't know why bicyclists are so unfriendly. I still hold out hope. I'll continue to wave when I pass them by.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Turttle and Leg Cramps

Lack of clear weather has kept me off my bike this winter. Last winter I only had a couple of weeks I couldn't ride. This winter has given lots of cold, rain and ice. And it's hung around like a homeless stray cat.
I'm trying to get prepared for the BAK in June. This weekend provided me enough time and warm weather to ride 2 days in a row. Saturday I rode 30 miles and did fine. Today, Sunday, I felt a bit sore but I headed out anyway. Today was warmer than yesterday, a great day for a ride. The wind was against me, but I didn't mind. It's good for conditioning. I was encouraged to find a sure sign of spring on the trail just below Shawnee Mission Lake: a large Snapping Turtle. I opted not to put any part of my body near it for perspective in the picture. It's shell was about 12" in diameter.
I was only a few miles from home when I got a severe cramp in the front of my left thigh. I stopped my bike to stretch it out and the back of my thigh cramped as well. I couldn't bend my leg so I just stood beside the road and hoped the pain would ease soon. I decided this was the time to call for help, so I asked Brenda to come and get me. I've never in my life had a cramp so severe.
I'll give my legs a day or so to recover and get back to building my endurance again. BAK is only a little more than a month away.