Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Revolution of a cyclist: How much excitement is too much?

It was quite a ride today. Not far, few climbs and not even really fast. What made it quite a ride was all the excitement en route.

We left under a gray, but not threatening sky (in my opinion) and headed for Rufina. As we headed out of town a car overtook us, only to make a quick right turn directly in front of Leif. Let's just say his Italian hand gestures are coming along nicely.

As we sped along we rode over a small section of the road that had been repaired and as we did a truck went by and kind of blew me to the side of the road, where my wheels caught the edge of the repair and skidded along for what felt like miles and was probably less than a meter. I spent the next couple of kilometers nervously checking my tires every five seconds to be sure I didn't have a flat.

A little farther along, a sharp report, much like a shot, rang out as a truck passed us. First I thought it was one of my tires, then my imagination went nuts and I thought what if we both got a flat tire....just how many spare tubes do we have between us? Then, since neither of us spun madly out of control I thought someone shot at us. Those who know some of my history can understand my mistake there. Anyway, then Leif yelled back at me that it was just a backfire. It took several minutes for my heart to stop pounding.

As we approached San Francesco it started to sprinkle. After a brief while-in-motion discussion we decided to head home to avoid getting really wet. Naturally a kilometer down the road the rain stopped but we kept heading home anyway. Can't trust the weather here.

We took a different road home. I guess he figured if we couldn't ride as far as we wanted to we could at least get some climbing in. (yay.....?) A crew was doing some ditch work and one of the brighter guys there was using a weed whip....on gravel. I moved out into the middle of the road, hoping that would get me far enough away to avoid getting hit by anything. Suddenly I heard a metallic ping followed almost instantly by a sharp pain on the inside of my right knee. I may have also let out a very loud and high pitched yelp. What are the odds of one stone missing me on the way through, then hitting one of the pipes on my bike and bouncing perfectly to hit my knee? Apparently pretty darn good. Leif wanted to stop and talk to the crew about basic safety, probably in a very loud voice. I just wanted to get home before I got seriously hurt.

We were just a few kilometers from home and I was feeling pretty confident when yet another car accelerated like hell to pass us just so he could do a quick stop and turn right. Seriously, this is a problem here. A problem no one seems to think is worth changing. Leif took it well. I was impressed. We then managed to get home with no further incidents and no more rain.

I would like to point out that I did all this during the allergy season. One that has me firmly in it's grip and attacks at the most inopportune times. Sneezing so hard and so much that I can hardly stand up; eyes so sensitive I can hardly open them. Riding on  a day when nothing exciting happens is still an adventure. Today was almost more excitement than I could take.

No comments:

Post a Comment