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My STUPID Century

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Road Cycling ďIt is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.Ē -- Ernest Hemingway

My STUPID Century

Old 05-24-04, 07:45 AM
  #1  
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Ever have one of those days that starts out wrong and just gets worse? I did on Saturday doing the local century ride. My brother came in to do the ride with me. We showed up at the appointed place with 700 of our closest cycling friends. During the time before the ride started, we talked with some of my riding group about recent rides and some of the wrecks that are inevitable in a large group of cyclist of varying skill. I even wondered out loud if we would even get out of the parking lot before the first falls. BAD karmaÖ I should have kept my mouth shut.

The first part of the ride was a loop of 27 miles out and back to the school where the ride started. Then, the second part of the ride left the lot and went the other direction for the remainder of the metric century course. The first 27 were uneventful for my brother and I. We did see one cyclist who had decided to do a little off-roading down an embankment for some reason we never figured out. He wasnít hurt in any event. We made it back to the school for a brief stop then to continue on the second section. The problem here was that riders coming in from the first section and riders leaving for the second route have to use the same entrance / exit gate. And because they are going and coming from opposite directions, they must cross each other, which make for some considerable traffic problems.

Well you guessed it, we pushed off for part two arriving at the gate just as a group was coming in. I started to slow watching the riders coming in off the road. The one closing on me wasnít really looking up, when he did look up and see me his eyes lit up like a deer caught in the headlights of a speeding Kenworth. I was going pretty slow and moved to my right just barely. Just barely too much as my brother had come up on my right. I didnítí realize he was as close as he was because I was watching the incoming traffic. We touched and both went down with me landing on top of him. Luckily we werenít hurt. His bike took the worst of it shredding some bar tape and slipping the right shifter in towards the stem. We sorted that out, dusted off, and continued the ride. I felt terrible about what happened. I should have held my line. I knew better. Or, I should have just stopped all together and waited for everything to clear. I rode on second guessing what had happened.

We finally came to a spot in the road covered with shattered glass. It covered the entire width of the two lanes forcing us to pick the best way through. As I always do in these situations I reached over and gloved my front tire just to flick off any little shards before they worked their way in. Next I reached down just in front of the rear brake bridge to do the rear. I do it on all my bikes without a problem. Except, I just got the bike Iím riding. Never tried it on this one. Didnít even think about the difference in the geometry of the new bike. You guessed it again, the clearance between the tire and seat tube is very tight, I misjudged the reach and the tire grabs my fingers and pulls them down between the seat tube and the spinning rubber. The rear wheel slid for just a moment before I yanked my hand free. From behind my brother asks me what the hell Iím doing.

I said ď I donít know. Today Iím just eat up with the dumb ass.Ē

We finished the ride without crashing again and with all my fingers and toes intact. I have a nice bruise on my middle finger along with a hole burned through my right glove. I put the bike in the truck and promised not to talk about dumb riders ever again. I have seen the dumb rider...every morning in the mirror. I just smile and say ďHello stupid.Ē

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Old 05-24-04, 08:36 AM
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Originally Posted by khackney
the clearance between the tire and seat tube is very tight, I misjudged the reach and the tire grabs my fingers and pulls them down between the seat tube and the spinning rubber. The rear wheel slid for just a moment before I yanked my hand free. From behind my brother asks me what the hell Iím doing.
Ouch, that hurt just reading about it. Glad your ok, and consider yourself lucky you didn't break anything.

Dan.
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Old 05-24-04, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by khackney
The problem here was that riders coming in from the first section and riders leaving for the second route have to use the same entrance / exit gate. And because they are going and coming from opposite directions, they must cross each other, which make for some considerable traffic problems.
Sounds like the organizers don't have a clue about real world cycling. I'll bet that your's wasn't the only crash.
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Old 05-24-04, 12:40 PM
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Don't blame yourself for that crash, the organisers are totally to blame. Maybe you should sue them for the cost of new bar tape.
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Old 05-24-04, 04:08 PM
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Great story - I needed a laugh. I think we have all been there at one time or another. Glad you survived. For Isits - finally another Seger fan - that line is from Roll Me Away - a great biker song (I also ride a Harley).
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