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Thursday, September 09, 2010

I'm Cold and Wet, Please SPONSOR ME!

For real, people, will ya sponsor me for Bike MS? It's coming up in a couple weeks here (September 25/26), and I'm still shy of the minimum fundraising to even ride. I'll do the hard part, around 182 miles in two days on a bicycle, sleeping in a tent that Saturday night. You do the easy part, pony up a little loot.

Those of you who have already ponied up, thank you a million times over. Especially (and you know who you are) the one who wanted to give something even though she's been out of work for over a year and threw five bucks in the kitty.

For the rest of you, I hope this will inspire you to give:

Tonight's 'training ride' (last season, I called all my rides 'training rides,' though I've gotten to be enough of a cycling enthusiast I just want to ride every chance I get) was the Blue Moose ride, and me and Roj did it in the rain. Around 19 miles, it's normally a situation where I struggle to keep up with the herd and get dropped about, oh, a quarter of a mile into it. Tonight, the five or six other riders who showed up asked us if we wanted them to wait (I was still jacking with my bike bag and whatnot when 6:30 came), and I told them I was too slow to keep up with them anyway, and they rolled out.

My thinking wasn't that I could go for a 20 mile ride in the rain. My thinking was claimed only a 10% chance of rain for the window the ride would occur in and Roj looked at radar and said it looked like shit was breaking up.

So I imagined that by the time we crossed into KCK, it would be overcast, mid-60s and dry.

Two out of three? It drizzled, misted and rained pretty much the whole ride. The temperature was warm enough that it wasn't unpleasant; ten degrees cooler and we'd have frozen our asses off. But no blazing fast descents down Puckett or anything like that. Actually, I coasted down that hill breathing the fumes of a UPS van who would have been difficult to pass if the road had been dry and I was wanting to fly.

Anyway, I reasoned that it could rain on Bike MS and I'll still have to ride, so I might as well get the practice riding on wet roads with water beading on my glasses. It could have been much worse, it could have rained harder or been cold to boot, so ride carefully and call it 'training.'

The rain slowed us down, no personal records for speed tonight, meaning we finished in the dark as well as the wet. And coming down Cherokee at the end, I almost got hit by an asshead in a car. A Ford Focus, I think. He was turning left, and seemed to have stopped, realizing I was coming and had the right of way. Then right when I got there, he turned in front of me and I barely had enough brake to avoid the collision.

I shouted some choice words in his direction, so if you live in Prairie Village around 71st and Mission, sorry if your kids learned some new words this evening. This was by far the closest call I've ever had on the bike, and it was so mind-bogglingly, inexcusably stupid it didn't so much frighten me as make me mad enough to fight.

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