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Monday, April 02, 2007

In honor of Fools' MOnth, a clever spoof on the "research" about helmets and their effect on drivers' passing behavior (which starts with the absurd assumption that cyclist behaviors don't):

The site also has a nice write-up of The Peanut Ride.

Had my judgement skills affirmed with yesterday's non-ride. I'd posted a 1:00 departure from Countryside School, saying that folks could tuck in behind me for a wind-impeded crawl, since the forecast was for 20-25 mph. winds.
It was Palm Sunday *and* we went over a few Maundy Thursday hymns, so I had no time to check the Weather Channel... I bolted home, changed to shorts, and bolted out.
Rode Kirby all the way out and was duly grateful for every ounce I have not lost this winter, since all of 'em were required to keep me on the road. Gusts and leaning and pedaling hard, it was!
Got to the school, which is on the fringe of the prairie, and *hoped* that the increased brutality of the wind was some kind of wind tunnel effect, but as we mounted and took off, I realized it wasn't.
In order to feel like I had any control at all, I had to create enough momentum to be too far out in front to do anybody any good, as if it would have, and besides, getting close meant a gust would bring a collision. Slowing down made me feel like I'd swerve into the ditches. NOw that I think of it, there were *no* birds out there. Not even ones struggling sideways or riding the wind...
I'd thought we'd get out to the stop sign that would be a mile, but I was afraid to get out of what had to be at least a little shelter from the development to our right, so I stopped at its driveway. One of our number had been unable to get on her bike. SHould we go on? People were ambivalent... which usually means we should carry on... but I'd ridden in it already. I looked over at the incredible dust being stirred up and said I thought it was time to turn around and ride another day.
I rode back even further "in town," got back adn checked the Weather Channel.
Winds 45 mph, gusting to 53. LIke, dude, tropical storms.
It had dropped to "only" 35 by 5:15... but my potential riding companion said, "I'll pass."
Only mistake: Not going out at 10:00 and taking a moonlight ride. Tomorrow, perhaps!

A friend told me to wear a skirt while cycling a couple of years back. She told me it really works.

Paul Tay consistently cycles in Tulsa, OK with a Santa suit. He used to tow a big dildo around but he was arrested for violated public decency laws and threatened with prison time if he tried again.
At least in this mellow midwest, even my pigsnout helmet cover has consistently been correlated with drivers hopping curbs and swerving dangerously, so I'd think an out-of-season Santa wouldn't be advisable, much less a large or small dildo (which is, by the way, one of the very very few words my mother didn't know...)
TOday I was on the Gazelle and it seemed lights went my way and drivers were in synch with me. I'm beginning to think that there's a pattern. Tomorrow I expect to be Trekkin' ... then *hopefully* the Xtra will be ready...
That pig thing rules.

I've had a big 3'x5' American flag flapping in the breeze behind me on a five foot pole mounted to my bike. It didn't seem to make much difference in passing distance. I've thought about the Confederate "Stars & Bars" or even an NRA flag, but the suits driving their Audis with John Kerry bumper stickers are already uptight enough toward cyclists like me.
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