Sunday, May 2, 2010

Idiot in a black car.

Dark Side of the Paceline

I'm not the swearing type. I've never sworn at someone before but I came extremely close to crossing that line today. I did go ape on someone, which I have only done once before, at least from a bicycle. Well, not exactly ape. Ape for me. I have an unusual fear of confrontation and so even a firm disagreement will leave me shaking. It's irritating really. I'm naturally introverted so it takes a lot for me to openly come out and confront someone. So yeah, I yelled and went ape I guess. Now I get to spend the weekend self guessing and criticizing myself mentally for getting emotional on someone.

So, here's how things broke down. I woke up at 5:15 just before my alarm went off. The plan was to meet the Brumbys up at Brown and Val Vista for a juant out to Canyon Lake and possibly the end of the pavement. I managed to get there before they left and made a mental note that today shouldn't be too hard as I will be doing the Mines to Pines 300k next week and it has a goodly amount of steepish climbing.

Look at the dork that forgot to take his Race number off his helmet

Despite my decision to go easy was kind of thrown out the window as there was a lady in the paceline that inisted on riding in between the two lines and thus broke up the flow so I and the person in the other line were pretty much not getting any draft since we couldn't pull up beside her without either getting in the middle of the road or out onto the shoulder. About halfway to the superstions I managed to reposition myself after a stopsign and got in front of her for awhile and got some draft.

She did get in front of me again and I decided to slip to the back of the paceline after a bit. After we rounded the corner at the Dash In some guys pulled off into the parking lot and I did too thinking we were stopping, but the majority of the paceline headed off. Another guy and I worked to catch up and did but I was cooked and couldn't hold on so I slid off the back to recover and perhaps hop on to the guys behind me.

Heading down the backside of Usery pass

I got onto the group but they pulled away when we hit the hills. I was determined to take it easy. Besides I passed them on my way down the other side. It was down the hill to the lake where the stupid guy in the Mercedes sports car passed me. We had just passed the overlook and were hitting the blind corner where things get steep when he layed on his horn and crossed the double line to get around me. For the record I was going "The Speed Limit" so he had no right to pass me but lets just say I had a pretty good idea he was going over 40 in a twisty curvy 25 mph zone. We ended up hitting the bottom of the hill together and he pulled away.

If he could have held out for 10 or 20 seconds I would have let him pass where it was safe to do so. In any case I was ticked. I wanted to flip him off but I was hauling down the road and both hands on the bars were important and it would have been beneath me anyway so I'm kind of glad I didn't. As I rode along it occured to me that this really wasn't a good area to tick someone off on the way in if your driving a nice new car or any other vehicle that you would likely not be taking on the rough steep winding dirt road going up to Roosevelt. Yup, there was an extremely good chance I was going to run into this ---(insert your favorite word for idiots here)--- again.

Four Peaks behind Cacti

So, I get to the Marina and am looking in the parking lot and am disappointed not to see him when I see him parked on the curb next to the restaurant in a no parking area. So I yell at him that if he wants to risk someone's life he should risk his own. His reply was something about how I was obstructing traffic and shouldn't be on the road and should take it out on him. First of all, he was one of maybe 5 cars I'd seen in that whole section today so "Traffic" was a pretty generous statement. I told him I wasn't blocking traffic, I WAS traffic. At this point he told me to go ahead and call the cops. So I took down his plates and so did the other cyclists sitting outside and we told him we would (he'd done the same thing to them after he'd passed me but they were a little more subtle about calling him on the carpet). I don't know if the highway patrol was humoring me or if they really meant they'd keep an eye out for him later when I called them but at least I kept my word. First motorist I've ever reported.

At this point I didn't think it a good idea to ride alone further because of this --(insert your favorite word for idiots)--, and also because I had put too much intensity on the legs already today and I should be tapering. So I took off to catch up with the guys despite not having refilled my bottles. Fred was hanging back a bit as everyone took off and I chatted with him a bit and congratulated him on his platinum finish a few weeks back (he's another 60+ guy I'd like to ride half as good as at that age). We climbed out and regrouped near the top as one of the other guy's cranks came loose and no one had a big enough hex wrench to fix it. I have the Crank Brothers super duper maxed out multi tool that I use for just about everything and sure enough it had a large enough wrench on it. Around here my adrenalin started to wear down.

It was a good ride down to Apache Junction and we kept a spunky pace back to Mesa when Fred had an atomic nuclear tire explosion as he ripped a 1 inch gash in his front tire at 26 mph. Fred handled it like a pro. Lot's of people don't know that if you have a front blowout you just relax and don't brake unless it's your back brake. Just let the bike roll to a straight stop. If your turning straighten out if you won't get killed doing so and just roll to a stop. I made sure to thank Fred for not wiping out and taking us all down. Of course we now had the problem of a tire which had too big a gash to boot. We did manage to boot it enough to hold 20 pounds of pressure and we were off.

I peeled off at Crismon as I decided to add a trip out to the Salt River on for some additional mileage and milder climbing. It was a beautiful day. The temps were in the mid 60's the sky was deep blue and the wild flowers were still holding out for another week or two. Maybe they'll still be out next week. Anyway, It was a beautiful ride out to the river. The Salt River rec buses were running and there were even some canoeists and boaters getting on the river to catch the higher spring flows of the Salt down to above the granite reef diversion dam.

The time had come to mosey down the river myself as my unrefilled bottles were running low after 4 hours of riding and I would have no place to refill until getting back to town. So, I headed back and climbed up King Kong and refueled at Sonic on the way home.

The Steed and the Mighty Salt River

1 comment:

Bruce's Bike Blog said...

It is good to report aggressive drivers if you can. Its probably not the first time that guy has been a jerk on the road. The Dr. in California who stopped suddenly and the two cyclists crashed into his car--he had been reported a few weeks earlier for doing the same type of thing. It certainly helped put the guy away and got him off the road.