The Truth about Road Biking

Iggy the cat woke me up at 6:00 this morning. Of course, he is getting his balls removed at the moment so we all have our burdens to bear don’t we?

I figured as long as I was awake I might as well make S’quatch’s new 7:00 A:Mish ride he’s been telling me about. Suited up, rolling with red blinky, it was still midnight dark outside and everyone was heading to work. Everyone but me anyway.

Feeling conspicuously invisible, I appreciated the woman who rolled down her window to tell me the red blinky was really helpful, because she worries about running over “guys like me”. I want to tell her I’m not a “guy like me” that I’m just playing around this morning, in traffic, because I woke up so early, but there is not time to explain.

I catch S’quatch and a new friend just as they are heading out the driveway. Nice.

After following them through an obstacle course of New Suburbanism shortcuts and byways we emerge in Southwood Plantation, the new “town in a box” that has risen up south of town.

I forgot to mention that S’quatch has gently tumbled off his bike once at this point, but it was nothing really. A little curb contact, a patch of grass, from the way he shrugged it off I think it happens all the time.

I enjoyed the smooth pedal turning. I won’t lie to you. I enjoyed the morning air, the canopy roads, and the green hills of Tallahassee. It truly is a beautiful place.

Here’s the truth about road biking though, and I don’t mean to upset anyone, but the “Share the Road” idea? It’s just an idea. To proceed like that is a given is foolhardy. Society doesn’t endorse it, and it isn’t all that practical. Even to the salt of the Earth good folks out there I’m afraid we just look like a leisure class playing in traffic while they try to get to work.

The bitter pill to swallow is that no matter what your argument, there is some truth in that.

Commuters are excused, unless they are trying to make a point, and then they ride at their own risk and I tip my hat to them for their martyrdom.

-All right, I put my cup in, bring it on.


12 Responses to The Truth about Road Biking

  1. You gotta pick your poison. Recreational riding during rush hour is not the brightest thing a roadie can do. Our group rides generally take off after six and keep to roads with wide shoulders or little traffic.

  2. You must have pulled your punch, because I don’t get the challenge.

    I think you might be implying that sharing the road is an ill-concieved notion because cyclists neither need nor deserve the road as much as the poor fella trying to get to his time clock. Maybe so, but I’m not making anyone late if they have to slow down a minute before going around.

    As for being part of the leisure class, now that’s something to aspire to. If you’re suggesting I’ve arrived, then I might have to throw a party to celebrate. L-E-I-S-U-R-E, find out what it means to me, L-E-I-S-U-R-E, Take care, J.O.R.

    It was good to have you out there leisuring it up this morning.

  3. “Share the Road” is indeed a concept not endorsed by morning automobile commuters. But much worse are those folks making the end of day mad dash from the airconditioned happy hour to the airconditioned suburban garage at the end of a long work day. How does a fledgling roadie find peace on the road? Weekend mornings for starters and country roads whenever. For the BRC locals the rolling hills of Havana and the wide country roads east of Tallahassee are populated by a friendlier sort of driver. Unfortunately, unless you do the loathsome drive-to-ride you will always have a 10 mile dash through town to reach the safety of 10th Avenue.

    In case you’re interested this Dog rides most Tues and Thurs north through Havana. The leash comes off around 3:30-4:00.

  4. Woof woof!

    Y’all are really taking this lying down, I’m surprised. What a well-reasoned bunch of stable opinions and helpful suggestions.

    DB- I know you didn’t call me fledgling. I KNOW you didn’t.

  5. It seems like every post you’ve ever made where Sasquatch rides with you the guy takes a tumble. Different assumptions could be made from that but I choose to picture the guy as a balls-out risk taker who looks like a giant rasberry.

  6. First of all, you’re trying to egg me on to road ride more. Nice try.

    Secondly, I called HIM out last weekend. He didn’t even answer the phone. Who can blame him?

  7. Similar things can often be said about “share the trail.” I’ve actually had a couple more frightening close-calls with ATVs and snowmobiles on my mountain bike than I have with traffic on my road bike.

  8. Down here we seem to have the bike/horse/ped etiquette all figured out. There really isn’t much cross-use with off-road motorized/ non-motorized vehicles due to the sandy soil. If an ATV uses it, we basically can’t.

    Of course, anyone who reads your blog knows you often ride where few dare to go, but don’t get a big head about it!

  9. We mustn’t forget the “cracker” school of thought that if you’re on a vehicle that doesn’t sport a combustion engine of some kind you must be some kinda queer, and therefore its all in good fun to give you a bit of a brush with the sideview. I know the Capital is much more refined than the folks out here in the wild west of Pensacola, but as a native, I’m sure you can remember the type. When I was growing down up in Central Florida the trend was definitely toward redneck and much of that still prevails.

  10. In a few years, a lot more folks will be self-propelled at 7:30. The rest will be riding scooters and Minis. That’s right, I’m talking Peak Oil. Survivalism for Democrats. Meanwhile, get out of the way of my pickup. I’m late to work again. Then watch out at 5:30. Gotta get home for my decompression ride.

    No falls today for Sasquatch on a 50-miler. He heals quickly, so he’s recovered most of his healthy bestly hue.

  11. It’s my road too, dangit, and if I want to use it to get my bike to the hiway, then I will. Course the roads around here are a lot nicer than many I’ve seen in other states. They build ’em a little wider to make passing farm implements and other slow vehicles easier. Also, there’re usually trails or side streets that work well for getting to area hiways, which if they are state hiways, will have a shoulder.