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Saturday, May 29, 2010

Outlaw Biker

I hit 37 mph in a posted 25 zone going down 54th Terrace from Lowell to Foster. I blew at least a half dozen stop signs when I could tell there was no traffic coming in any direction. Then I clocked my max speed for the ride going down 55th Street between Rosehill and Pflumn, a blazing 42.9 mph past a speed limit sign reading '30.' Yep, I'm an outlaw, a real riding desperado.

I looped around Mom's block, a block I rode around a few million times growing up. The far corner, I had a bad accident on when I was seven or eight. It's a steep downhill corner, and the big deal among the boys in the neighborhood was being able to ride down it without applying brakes.

The first time I attempted this feat, I froze with fear, drove straight instead of curving, ran into the side of a boat and flew into the woods. I still have scars from where my cheek was pierced and my knuckles scraped.

I remember lying in the woods I'd landed in, the air completely kicked out of my lungs, and realizing the people who's boat I had just assailed didn't know me. I figured I was on my own to get up and get out of the woods if I wanted help. To my astonishment, the woman who lived in that house came out aflutter with worry, scooped me and my bike into her station wagon and if I hadn't been able to tell her where I lived, I think she intended to drive me straight to the ER.

Taking that corner today, I have to say it was my second pass before I managed to leave the brakes alone. A glance at my cycling computer as I started to slow down straightening out at the end of it showed my speed dropping from 27 mph. It's a steep-ass corner and just coasting you accelerate with alarming speed. If you're not prepared to really lean over, you'll never make it.

When I hit almost 43 mph in a 30, by the way, a pickup truck passed me, accelerating hard as if I were in his way. I was going 13 over, but by god he was gonna be faster than that no matter what.

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