Wednesday, May 12, 2010

May is Bike Month, so ride your bike (SAFELY) this month

I mentioned before that I would be posting about bike month, and probably even a little bit of bike advocacy. This is as political as this site will ever get (though I did just request an interview with Senator Scott Brown who also participated in the "Sinking of the TitanicRescue Boat Triathlon" this past weekend), as I do think bicycle safety and "Share the Road" are key concepts anyone who rides a bike should know.

Last night, I mentioned that Rach and I got in our first post-race workout by stretching our legs during a quick jaunt on the bike. What I did not mention at the time is that I forgot to wear my helmet last night. I never ride without one, so you would think "How did you forget your helmet?". It's been on the colder side of mild out these past few days, so i put on my breathable fleece skullcap that I wear under my helmet. Somehow, this made my brain feel like I had my helmet on, and it wasn't until I was all clipped onto my bike and rolling down the street that I realized I hadn't gotten the helmet out of the closet.

I love the feel and look of my Rudy Project Slinger helmet, so riding without it is not natural for me. I noticed at several points throughout the ride that I didn't have my helmet on. It didn't cause me to alter my cycling, but every time we came to an intersection or I wobbled trying to clip back in that if I fell I might bump my noggin.

Everything went smoothly until the last bit of the ride. As we live on a one way street, we often ride on the sidewalk against the flow of traffic to get home. Last night as we approached the house, I noticed a section of fresh cement with cones and tape around it. Thinking I could fit smoothly between the cones and the bush on the left, I zipped through so I would be less likely to wobble into either one.

Clearly I misjudged the width of my handlebars as a brush with the bush caused me to over correct, catch the safety tape attached to the cones, and drag them with me for about 10 feet before I came to a stop. I was able to unclip ok, and my brakes worked, but putting your foot down in bike shoes with cleats doesn't do much to stablize you. I felt like even more of a heel because the poor maintenance guy charged with standing there had to clean up the mess.

Thankfully, I didn't hurt myself and I didn't damage the fresh cement. But it just seems like when I'm not being careful, this kind of stuff happens. So please:

  • Always wear a helmet
  • Ride a bike that has brakes (seriously, no brakes is a fashion statement for city cyclists!)
  • Obey all traffic laws
  • Don't ride on sidewalks (especially by fresh cement while not wearing a helmet)

- I've had a lot to say lately, so I've been posting more than once a day. Of course that can't be sustained long term especially as some of my bigger features (interviews) are waiting to be completed. I expect to go back to first thing in the morning M-F with some weekend posts effective tomorrow.

- I weighed 316 as of this morning. 11 pounds til a double cheeseburger. This is a fun challenge.

- Rach and I have picked out a couple more triathlons prior to Timberman, hopefully I can add them to the revised schedule this weekend. 

- More time on the bike tonight, probably about the same distance but hopefully faster.


  1. You're probably seen this but

    Also good post. I'm a huge helmet believer! I wish I could travel and talk to schools about the importance.

  2. Derek - Thanks for the compliment. Someone mentioned early on in the comments that they appreciate my honesty. I have to say if I'd actually fallen and gotten hurt with my wife there to laugh at me, I might have been too embarrassed to post it. Thankfully, no harm, no foul.

    I hadn't seen the interview by Ray Crawford. He's an OK sportscaster, but not exactly a triathlon junkie, so his slant was heavily on the hockey side. I'd plan to ask that question too, but as an aside as opposed to the underlying point of the article. My focus will be almost totally on triathlons and training.