Friday, May 10, 2013
I went for a ride this afternoon. It was something I was looking forward to all day at work, knowing it was a gorgeous day, that I would have a two hour window after work to get a ride in, another chance to ride on my aero bars, etc, you get the idea.
I came home, got the kids situated with a movie, changed my clothes, pumped my tires, grabbed a water bottle and I was off. I decided not to ride Antelope Island today for a few reasons. One, I am really kinda sick of the causeway. Two, I need a change of pace. Three, the gnats have been TERRIBLE out there lately. I live in an area that is part suburb, part rural, so there are still plenty of low traffic and scenic areas to ride in even if you don't ride the island. I decided on a route and headed off. I had the roads to myself, I had a good tail wind and I was going well in aero! (I don't think I have brought the blog up to date, but I did finally add aero bars to my roadie. I am in LOVE) Anyhow, it was a good ride. I rode on some new roads I haven't been on, I felt like I was keeping a good pace, and then hit a good half way point and decided to head home. I took pretty much the same way back, on roads with little or no traffic. I don't mind riding in some traffic, but with me still getting used to these new bars, I wanted to avoid it as much as possible.
I was within two miles of my house and was approaching a right hand turn. There is not a big shoulder on this road, and right off the side of the road is an irrigation canal that is quite full at the moment because of all of the rain we have had this week. This is a farm road, paved, but VERY little (usually none) traffic and I run/ride on it all the time. As I got closer to this turn, I was down in aero, hugging the white line on the side of the road and some Bronco looking car with a huge lift kit came speeding from the opposite direction. It all happened so fast, but as he made his turn he veered over into my lane and almost hit me. By almost I mean within INCHES. I saw him coming, kinda froze up, I was in aero so I didn't have my breaks, and I realized there wasn't much I could do. If I had fallen to one side, I would hit him, and the other is the canal. I did topple over, but luckily just into the gravel on the side of what little shoulder there is.
I noticed I wasn't hurt, other than a few bruises. My bike was fine, just dusty, not even a scratch. And then it got EVEN BETTER. I hear tires screech, a door slam and the driver gets out and comes over to me. I was thinking maybe he was making sure I was okay and he might apologize. That is what any humane, normal person would do, right? Maybe he was just distracted, it happens to all of us. Well, apparently he is not normal or humane. He immediately proceeds to tell me what an idiot I am, how I have no right on the road, cursing at me, shaking his fist, etc. I am in total shock at this. Really? You almost kill me in your suped up Bronco, because you are an irresponsible S.O.B, and I'm the one in the wrong? I was obeying the law! I was in my lane!
I was with it enough to reach for my phone in the back pocket of my jersey. I stated taking pictures of him and his car with the license plate. He asked what I was doing and I told him I was getting evidence for the police. He proceeded to call me many more awful names, and then ran to his car and left.
I had another cyclist behind me that saw the whole thing, and he gave me his name and number if the police needed any other witnesses. I called the police, gave them the info, and I haven't heard back yet.
I have read about several close calls other people have had, and I have always been grateful to live in an area with great biking where you can avoid a lot of traffic. I also have a trainer, but I try to only use that for really bad weather. It just goes to show that even when you are doing everything right, you can't assume people will see you, or even if they do, that they will give you plenty of room, or even stay in their own lane for that matter! Be careful out there folks! The world has a shortage of a lot of things, but idiots is not one of them!
In the mean time, Happy Training all!