Saturday, September 10, 2011

Not Cyclists -- People with Bikes

I went out for about as early a ride as I have in a long time. I was supposed to be on the road at 6:00 (still dark) so I could meet Aaron and Ryan at the mouth of Provo Canyon at 6:30. I got off a few minutes late, which stretched out into a few minutes more on the road to Provo, but eventually we all found each other in the parking lot by Will's Pit Stop.

The parking lot was surprisingly crowded for a Saturday morning before sunrise, and the River Trail was correspondingly busy as we headed up toward the Alpine Loop. Once we turned onto the loop, we climbed at a nice, conversational pace, hitting the summit in 57:xx.

As we started down the American Fork side, a white SUV was right on our tails almost immediately. I was bringing up the rear, and since we were going way over the speed limit anyway, I didn't think there was any reason for us to stop and let the driver pass. When we hit the sharp 180 degree turn (anyone who's ridden the route knows what I'm talking about), I took the outside line, and the driver stomped the gas, sliding his tires through the inside line and cutting me off, before blowing down the road (one lane, with two way traffic) at about 60 mph, barely squeezing past Aaron and Ryan on his way.

I've been riding long enough that there are plenty of jerks in cars, but this was a pretty blatant example of bad behavior. But what was most disheartening was that the SUV had a rack with several mountain bikes on the back. In a way, I felt betrayed, because I've always thought that at least some of the drivers on the road are fellow cyclists who wouldn't risk my life to save a few seconds.

The most likely explanation is that the driver and his passengers were not cyclists but people on bikes. Whichever trail they rode, I hope they crashed.

Speaking of cyclists, I consider myself one, even in my semi-retired state. But you know what? I'm not very good at riding bikes. I can put the power to the pedals--it's pretty straightforward, and I seem to be pretty good at it. But when it comes to basic things like turning, not a chance. Seriously, every time I ride with other people I'm reminded of what a terrible bike handler I am the instant we start descending. There's a reason I couldn't cut it as a racer . . .

On a completely unrelated note, Catherine and I went to the temple with her grandparents, her cousin, and her cousin-in-law. It was the first time we've been in a while. (Last time we planned to go, we ended up going to the hospital to have a baby instead.) While we were there, Amy watched Elliott for us. It seems like Jin has taken a liking to Elliott. It's nice to know that she won't grow up afraid of big dogs.


Amy said...

Watching Jin cuddle up with Elliott kind of made my day.

Abominable's Main Squeeze said...

Dad and I always say that 95% of the drivers on the road are very courteous, but the other 5% can be absolute jerks. Glad you were able to post about it (if you get my drift).

That is the cutest picture ever!

jun said...

Hahaha, blow that picture up and hang it on the wall.
And, stupid drivers, I can't believe they did that. They are probably the same kind of people who get pissed when trail runners don't step aside even though they have the right of way.

Anonymous said...

It was probably that whole "get some knobbies" attitude, kind of ironic...if I see any white SUV's with a rack on the back at a trail head...I'm removing the valve cores from the tires...ANY WHITE SUV.

Faceless Ghost said...

That would be awesome. Because two more white SUVs with mountain bikes on the back passed me before I got out of the canyon. You'll score all kinds of valve stems.