When the temperature hovers near triple-digits, or higher, it changes some things.
For one thing, the bike routes and lanes are once again pretty much empty. The "Spandex Snobs" apparently aren't so serious about riding bicycles after all!
For another thing, staying "wet" becomes critical. Hydration is the key.
One of my weekday routes takes me past a little spot on Gary Lane, near my halfway mark. It's easy to miss... but it's such a nice stop on a hundred-degree day. (Click on a photo for a larger view.)
Cool water, green grass, and a bit of shade.
Every once in a while, I'll happen across a "wood-nymph" or two, enjoying the spot and further beautifying the scenery. (Sadly, that doesn't happen frequently enough to count on.)
I'd never drink this water... but it sure feels nice splashed on my sizzling head. That... and a good soaking of my T-shirt (I saturate it and then wring it out just barely to the point that it's no longer dripping)... and I'm back in the game!
Yup-yup-yup. My regular route puts me on the river greenbelt for a couple miles. On Friday, on the ride home, I literally had my breath taken away by the fact that I could FEEL the temperature difference when I rode under the shade of a couple sizeable trees. Wonderful feeling -- kinda the reverse of running out of a hot tub/heated pool, rolling around in snow, and then jumping back into the water.
But hey, the bike lanes are NOT deserted. I left a little late this morning (about 15-30 minutes later than normal), and could not believe how many people I saw on the greenbelt. Granted, they won't all be out in the afternoon, but I'm really impressed by the number of bikes I'm seeing, especially the number of folks who are not part of the spandex-laden racing club. (Full disclosure: I wear spandex, and I commute on a racing bike.)
Are they doing everything right? Heck no. But at least they're out there, and more importantly, their cars are staying at home!
db... I prolly vent more about the "spandex" crowd than I should.
The vast majority of cyclists seem friendly. For me, one of the nice things about bicycling is the ability to give fellow cyclists a friendly greeting. Obviously that's not for everybody... but there seems to be a certain class of cyclists - almost exclusively dressed the part, very conscientiously - who think they're head and shoulders above the common rabble. I'm sure you cross paths with 'em too.
In perfect-springtime, I was regularly observing 20 bikes in the office racks. With the 100-degree days, that number has dropped off 50-60%. Certainly not a scientific measurement... just casual observation.
Bikeboy, I totally understand where the antipathy comes from. I often tell people that the reason cycling isn't even more popular here is because of the people who are already into it. Meaning the team amoeba rides and their obvious attitude along popular routes like Hill Road can be a distinct turnoff to folks who have trouble spelling or even saying "derailleur".
However, what makes me laugh is that the other side - the non-technical ploddder or "hoodrat" side - can be just as unfriendly and even arrogant. Almost every morning, I ride by a guy on a MTB in gym shorts and a T-shirt, and I always say "morning!" And he never even makes EYE CONTACT, much less responds verbally. Bit of a chip on the shoulder there, Ace?
In the end, it's all good. People want to like or dislike me based solely on what I ride, that's their problem. I'm happy riding right by them.
And don't feel like you have to watch what you say in here -- just don't be surprised some day if some tightly-clothed S&M reject road biker shouts out at you: "Love the blog, Bikeboy!"
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