Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Ride to the Capitol 2008
Yesterday morning I did the 3rd annual ride on the Capitol. But before I headed out I read of this cycling tragedy. The entire story is just devastating and what I find particularly frightening is that this was a group, supported ride. Certainly, when I head out solo on the streets I know I am pretty much risking life and death but on the rare occasions that I get to go on a group ride I feel secure and relaxed. This story made me realize that I will never be able to feel relaxed or should I feel secure on my bike where there are cars present. And this is absolutely what will keep me from ever fully embracing the sport of cycling. I just like living too much.
After reading the story I seriously considered bailing on the organized ride. As much as I love to ride my bike the risk of dying while doing it is not worth it. I don't love it that much.
However, I rationalized that if any time I was going to be safe on my bike on a road in Atlanta the ride to the Capitol was it. The ride, (albeit slow going out) is police escorted, and the road is essentially blocked by the peleton. Not to mention there is sag support. Really, the greatest obstacle of this ride is to avoid hitting one of the other few hundred cyclists around you.
The weather yesterday was less than stellar for bike riding (but great for running!)--40's, overcast, even a bit drizzly. But the ride was good. And I was quite grateful to James of Roswell Bikes who lent me his leg warmers. See. I just love the Atlanta cycling community. Everyone and I mean everyone I encounter is so friendly and very encouraging. I met so many nice people yesterday. I think a lot of people view cyclists as elitist but every cyclist I have ever met practically begs you to get involved in the sport.
I really hope this ride continues to be an annual event and that every year more and more people get out there for it. Because I think, in this case, there really is power in numbers. The more cyclists that brave the road; the safer the roads will be everyone. I mean really. How great would it be if you could ride your bike around the corner for a gallon of milk rather than have to drive your gas guzzling car for 3 miles? I think, that would be awesome.
In other news I am way tired this morning. Not because of the ride but because I had an evening out with the kittens, aka Fishstick and Pookie. Silliness, of course, ensued.
I know, it does look like I am about to drag Stick down the street by her hair.
But really what is going on is us-- unsuccessfully--trying to reenact the painting in the window of this gallery. Yeah, I don't know why. That is just how it is with the kittens: silliness. It ensues.
Yesterday was a good day: I got to ride my bike and I didn't die, I got to meet new and friendly faces and then drinks and silliness with friends. A good day indeed.
PS Steph, Stick brought us our awards from the 10k.
PPS. I wrote and edited this while Beau sat next to and talked nonstop to me. Sorry. But I am sure you understand if you have a four year old. The chatter. It is maddening and unending.