Just wanted to post a little anti-doom-and-gloom, as my wife and I had a great experience on Sunday.
Sometimes it seems to be a rarity- to run into a single nice, non-self-centered stranger while going about life. The last few months have been filled with close calls (and one crash) with drivers, and frustration with humanity as a whole. Well Sunday, was one of those days that I needed to help restore a little faith.
My wife and I were out on a 50 mile training ride, with our fully loaded touring rigs (testing out the load, 35+lbs of gear- good news was, if we ran out of juice, we could have slept out and waited until Monday to go home ). Of course with all our gear, we were going quite slow, and me being the genius I am, unintentionally plotted about as steep/hilly a route as you can get around here (I think we did around 3k feet of climbing, most shortish, less than a mile, 8-12% grades). It was a beautiful day out.
The first group of cyclists we saw were some "roadies" in matching jerseys in a pace line, pushing hard. We were slowly chugging along up a hill, and they were coming up fast, so we pulled over as far as we could. They slowed down when they got to us, and each of them said a few words of encouragement as they passed, and were giving us thumbs up, etc.. Very nice guys.
A little while later, while climbing the longest hill of the route (again, chugging along slow- amazing how much 35lbs can slow you down!) a couple was coming the other direction, and both yelled over to us "Keep it up guys!" and "You got a ways to go but you're looking good!"
Towards the top of this hill, 2 guys on mountain bikes passed us, then waited at the top, and asked us where we were headed, interested in how we were cycling with all the gear, etc.. We talked for a good 10-15 minutes (nice break at the top of the hill) then went our separate ways.
The icing on the cake, was as we were getting close to home, there was a somewhat twisty, rolling-hills type road. I noticed a pizza delivery car come up behind us. I have usually found pizza delivery cars to be quite pushy. Well this guy waited for about a minute, until he had a very clear shot of the road, and saw that no one was coming. He then passed us, giving us the entire lane, and waved to me and smiled. I took note of the pizza place's name, and we'll definitely be ordering from them in the future!
So all in all, it was a wonderful ride, and we encountered a bunch of very good people. This is one of the many reasons I love this sport!