Wednesday, October 12, 2011

sharing the road with jerks, running and riding harder

Truth:  as a car driver, I don't like sharing the road with bikes and pedestrians.  The pedestrians look so small and vulnerable, and my car feels so dangerous when I see them in my space.  The bikes, I can always imagine just falling over sideways, right out of the blue, right as I am beside them...when it's  too late for me to avoid running right over their defenseless heads.  As a car driver, I prefer not to share the road with any of them, just for my own selfish self.

As a wannabe runner and a regular cyclist (who is finally working up the nerve to do some road riding and not only stay contained to the safety and the limits of the bike path), I am experiencing this from the other side.  I totally get that most of the drivers on the road probably wish I weren't there.  I understand.  If I were driving, I would wish I weren't there too!  

But I am surprised at the number of people who act out their "not liking it" in rather more unpleasant ways.  Examples:

  • Many mornings on my run, cars that are coming head-on choose to turn their lights up on hi-beam when they spot me.  Now mind you, I'm wearing a reflective vest and I think my shoes have reflective quality as well.  I am running as far over to the side as I can get (don't even suggest the sidewalk; those are in such a condition here that all I'd do in the dark is break myself if I tried that).  I'm visibly watching them, not just running along oblivious.  They gotta bright me?  Really?!  Note:  they NEVER go to high beams when they come up behind me, regardless of whether they are on my side of the road or not.  It's only when they are coming head-on.  And then I see their beams click back down to low just as they are beside me.  For real.  I don't know how else to interpret that than:  jerks on the road.  Come on, folks.
  • Many evenings out on my bike, I encounter those who act like fools as they pass me going in the same direction I am going.  People who hang back and honk, though I'm all the way over as far as I can safely ride, and they have plenty of room.  People who seem to buzz in as close as they can manage...they are nowhere NEAR the center line...or at least, they aren't until they get past me, having passed so close it felt like they were going to touch me...then they move back over to the left, once I'm behind them.  People who gun their engines hard when they are close behind me.  Note:  there are 3 categories of vehicles that do this to me:  muscle/testosterone vehicles, luxury vehicles, and those from the P.O.S category.  I've never had anyone in a car that gets decent mileage and is in decent shape and doesn't cost more than a new home be a jerk to me on the road.  Ever.  Disclaimer:  I considered some muscle cars myself this time around, and I also know people who drive muscle cars, luxury vehicles, and P.O.S vehicles who are nice, decent, and I don't think would be a jerk to a size 18 middle age lady in a dorky helmet on a bike (c'mon, jerks out simply existing I have conceded you are cooler than really gotta prove it with your asinine behavior...really?!)...I'm just saying, the jerks seem to always be driving one of those 3 kinds. 
Anyway that's not really very germaine to the topic of this blog, but it's been a rant in my head for awhile.  Now that it's on the page, maybe it'll shut up already.

In other news, my 3/7 run intervals got much easier this morning.  I will definitely be advancing to the next phase next week.  Also, on my bike ride last night I went about 50 feet further up the 17th street hill than I ever could before having to get off and push Wilma up the rest of the way.  Progress!  Now, in truth, when I got off to push her, I was breathing so hard that I was sure my organic pumpkin and flaxseed raisin brans and coconut milk were going to exit my stomach and splash all over Wilma and my purple zebra striped shoes...I pushed HARD to get that far.  But I did it!  I am coming to believe that it's important to push myself further than I think I can go in some way almost daily, if I am going to break through into new zones of obedience to God and love for this body that I have never lived before.

Just sayin.

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