Saturday, April 24, 2010

ON YOUR LEFT!!!!!!!!!!

So today I got back on the bike. It has been a week since the Vineman Showdown Tri and it was time. I had some sprints that coach assigned me so I choose a nice flat expressway that was a short drive from my house. Foothill Expressway is clean, has a nice wide bike lane, relatively free of debris and quite well paved. In short, prefect for a sprint work out, apart from the occasional lights if you catch them wrong.

I knew there were going to be a lot of cyclists out today because it was a Saturday and it was gorgeous out. What I didn't realize is how incredibly rude they were all going to be. As I was warming up I heard the tell tale sign of a bicycle clicking behind me, I waited to hear the obligatory "on your left" so I would have a better idea of when they were going to pass, but instead, I heard nothing as the cyclist rode by me, seemingly mute.

Well, I thought, that's just one person. No big deal. Or so I thought. After a while, I had been passed by 4 different people, at different intervals, and not one of them said anything to warn me they were about to pass. At this point I decided I was going to count. I was annoyed, and I couldn't think of any good retorts to say when the person went passed, so counting seemed like as good an idea as any.

At one point, one girl passed me and I almost hit her because I was trying to avoid some debris in the road. Are you kidding me? Is it so impossible to let someone know you're going to pass them? Is there something wrong with me? Do I not get the obligatory saying due to the fact I am a little chunkier than most cyclists? The brand of my bike? The fact I am wearing black? Mountain bike shoes on a road bike? My rather slow speed? Did I miss the memo that it is extremely passe to tell someone you are passing them? WHAT I HAVE I DONE TO DESERVE SUCH RUDENESS???

I mean it is just so silly, and unsafe. Yes, I was not riding on the white line, leaving plenty of room to pass on the left. However, should there be some sort of obstacle in my way, and I DON'T know you're there, I am going to swing out to miss it. I can't be looking over my shoulder to look for a mute cyclist before I avoid a branch/roadkill/screw in the road! Unsafe because if I do swing out and hit you, I am going to knock you into oncoming traffic, and yes I will call 911 for you and try to stop the bleeding but cyclist VS. car does not usually end well.

It occurs to me that the people who are not saying anything prior to passing are also the ones whose turn signals appear to be broken on their car whenever they wish to make a lane change or turn. Curious.

Finally, cyclist #14 who passed me uttered the magic words as she passed. I don't know who you were, girl in the blue and white kit, who passed me very nicely today, but I appreciated it.

I managed to get a little *ahem* lost on the way back. I tried to go back to my truck a different way in order to avoid a particularly nasty left hand turn. But I went a bit too far east, at one point I thought I had found the school I had parked at, after all - wasn't that my red truck in the parking lot? Of course I had about 10 min left to ride so I proceeded to do little laps around the neighborhood, as the end came near, I got closer and realized that no, that was not my truck, and this was not the school, and yes I was still lost. Crap. Crap. Crap.

So I ended up doubling back, turning down a road I had debated turning down earlier (which I should have done) and finally made it back about 10 min over the prescribed work out time. Oh well, my saddle needs to get in riding shape anyway!

In other news, my Grandmother passed away peacefully on Wednesday morning. She was at home and happy when it happened, which is all I can ask for. I feel extremely blessed she was not in a hospital, nursing home or similar when her time arrived. I will miss her dearly, and hope my 89 year old Grandfather is able to manage okay. Loneliness is tough.


  1. Jeff says he never says it unless they look like it would be an issue, they are way left, etc.

    Me personally, I always chirp Good Morning! as I come up on someone, it seems the friendly way to warn them I'm nearby (and maybe being female, I'm ridiculously uneasy about making someone feel bad for being passed?). And if they pass me without saying anything (which honestly is most riders on Foothill - remember my 100 mile rides where barely 3 people spoke to me?), I just chirp Good Morning! at their retreating rear ends to kill them with kindness.

    Good job riding out there today! Too bad you didn't do McKean like everyone else I knew LOL

  2. was just crazy today. I expect a couple of people not to say anything, but when I almost hit that one girl, I started to think it was a conspiracy! Good morning works for me! It's better than nothing =).