Wrong time to start riding to work

The ideal time to bike to work is in the middle of summer, right? Warm mornings, lots of daylight, and most importantly no parents rushing to get their kids to school on time.

But most of the time riding to work seemed to interfere with training: need an easy ride on Mon; Tues go to Westlake; Wed recover from Westlake; Thurs often go to Leroy for the TT; Fri need an easy ride. It’s hard to do an easy ride to/from work. There is a climb from the Chagrin River valley each way, and for some reason I find it difficult to go “recovery slow” when riding to or from work. I guess that same impatience that makes people drive frantically during rush hour carries over to the bike.

So I chose today to ride to work for the first time in months. And encountered the aforementioned parents rushing to get their kids to school on time. Riding up Cedar Road in the morning isn’t easy. It’s uphill and narrow. There is no shoulder to speak of — unless you want to ride in gravel — and what shoulder there is drops off quickly.

It was made worse by the steady stream of SUV’s — I was counting and it was easily 5-1 vs. cars — carrying kids up to Gilmour Academy. The same school where a student XC runner was hit by a car a few weeks ago while practicing (2 broken legs and fractured skull). You’d think the parents would give a cyclist a little breathing room on a narrow road.

Nope, sorry — HONK! (then weave across the yellow line even though there is oncoming traffic).

Then I managed to break off the key in my bike lock, which is now permanently attached to the bike rack at work.

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9 Comments

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9 responses to “Wrong time to start riding to work

  1. Jim

    I was in Madison tonight after dinner and counted 9 straight SUV’s and mini-vans before I saw a 4 door sedan, then 4 more SUV’s and pick-ups. What energy crisis??
    Cedar Rd hill going west?? You are the brave, but foolish, soul. Ride safely!

  2. Brian

    Yes, Cedar Rd westbound from Chagrin River Rd. A great stretch to do 5 min hill intervals … when there is no traffic, which is most of the time. (except from 7:00 — 8:00)

  3. Kevin

    I’m ever amazed at the risks drivers will take for minimal reward. Maybe they save 10-30 seconds on their drive by passing a cyclist or pedestrian (or mail truck) without regard for traffic in the other lane. I guess they don’t perceive a head on crash as dangerous.

  4. ds

    We rode past the scene of that accident involving the runner right after it happened. Although his injuries sound horrible, I am actually releived that he survived. It did not look good at the time. We did not stop, however, because there already were a bunch of people there, none of us were dcotors (or med students), and we could hear the EMS squads coming. Very scary.

  5. Brian

    from the description I read, it sounded pretty horrible too. I guess teenagers bounce better than adults. I’m amazed that the injuries weren’t more severe.

  6. I have ridden to/from work every day (save a handful) since early March. My route involves some climbing, but it’s not bad and I’ve come to detest driving with such prejudice that I find it hard to get behind the wheel of my car.

    Trust me, I have seen it all when it comes to idiotic driving. What is it about getting behind the wheel of an automobile that changes normal people into raving, homicidal assholes? I will never figure it out.

    No exaggeration: If I was not paying extremely close attention, I would have been hit many times. Really.

    Here’s what I keep in mind when commuting (or any time for that matter): There are only 2 types of motorists – the malicious and the negligent.

    The moment you assume otherwise is the moment you die.

    Every day, I hope that I will check commodity prices and find that gasoline is up over $4 / gallon. The only time over the past several years of commuting to work by bike that I have ever gotten any respect was last summer when gas was expensive.

    People are back to their old ways. Why is that? Because – in general – people are stupid. Wow, that’s really cynical. Sorry … I’ve had some wine.

    Keep riding to work. Despite the moron motorists, it’s still the best way to travel.

  7. Brian

    Riding every day like that, I would imagine that most drivers now have seen you riding, many times over, and would finally cut you some slack.

    They should also thank you for contributing to keeping their gasoline prices down.

  8. Jim

    “There are only 2 types of motorists – the malicious and the negligent.”

    Maybe the best line I have ever seen. Too bad it is true.

  9. Tom

    Last summer, as I commuted and gas prices hit nearly $4 per gallon, I rode the elevator with several people who were all complaining about gas prices. Someone noticed me, or rather my bicycle (invisible on the road, invisible on the elevator), and said, “we should ride down here like THAT guy.”

    They all shared a good laugh at the thought of it.

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