Confession time. Part of my biking involves avoiding as many of the oil/chip roads as possible. It is getting quite difficult to do it around here these days and it is forcing me to ride on more highly traveled smooth asphalt state roads. During yesterday's ride I saw trucks overlaying one of the favorite parts of my ride: DeeMack road. Two other county roads that I commonly use were overlayed with the oil/chip combination. It takes at least 6 months for them to smooth out and in some cases they never do. In addition, as most riders will acknowledge, loose gravel is inevitable as a bi product of this type of resurfacing resulting in hazardous conditions. Riding on these roads jostles my giblets so I reroute whenever possible. Now for the confession. During today's ride, as I approached DeeMack road, I was certain the workers put rock chips on it. I was forming, in my mind, a letter to the Tazewell county road commissioner. I planned on using strong and profane language to show my displeasure. Approaching the road I did notice a change in the color indicating the road crew indeed worked on the road. As I rounded the corner, much to my delight and unbridled surprise.......ASPHALT!!! Beautifully laid with no imperfections. It was as smooth as glass and my giblets breathed a sigh of relief. I had to mentally apologize to the workers and road commissioner for assuming the worst. Now if they could do that to all the county roads we bikers would appreciate it. Obviously, that isn't going to happen but one can dream.
Monday, August 6, 2012
Sunday was a great day for a bike ride. Saturday, we had about an inch of rain, and lost our power for about 4 hours. But we were in Chicago and missed it. The result of all that nasty weather was to cleanse the heat wave resulting in a beautiful day so I decided to do my regular 55 mile ride to LeRoy. Normally I "rehydrate" at Doris' establishment (see earlier posts) in LeRoy but she has a moral compunction against serving alcohol on Sunday. So after a brief respite in the local square I decided to ride to Champaign and complete another century. I did post the following on my facebook page. It has to do with the motorists and their reaction to a bicycle in their path. Those followers who do distance biking know they drill. As a vehicle approaches from the rear we move to the right as far as safety allows. With no oncoming traffic 99.9% of the motorists will give plenty of room and many actually move into the left lane as they pass. It's that .1% that are the problem. Riding on a road with no shoulder a pickup truck was approaching from behind. Their was no oncoming traffic so my expectation was the driver would give considerable space. Wrong again biker breath. The "asshole" not only did not change lanes, he didn't even move from the normal path taken by autos. The result was that he missed my by the proverbial ____hair. A very close call. Maybe I'm a little more aware of these situations after being hit by a car but I often wonder what motivates people to play these games. If it's an attempt to intimidate it works. If it's and attempt at scaring the biker, it works. If it's all a game, you win. If they think it's funny, it isn't. Yet, when the ride was over and I sat with people enjoying the end of the day sipping a Fat Tire and pleasant conversation, it was mostly forgotten. But let it be said, those idiots that play games with bicyclists on the roadways need to realize the consequences of hitting a biker. Hopefully their intent is not to injure or kill a cyclist but it happens. And when it does, it's not so funny anymore! Just sayin!!