Thursday, August 13, 2009


Ambassador - def. - an unofficial representative

It seems lately that more often than not cyclists have to fight the bad rap that some drivers have given the population of cyclists as a whole, as renegades who don't follow the laws of the road. There are some that are trying to get cyclists banned from being on the road altogether such as this group - Bastards. Then there is this county in CO that is trying to do the same - A-Holes. So it is up to us (bicyclists) to be good ambassadors to cycling and follow all the rules of the road and be polite to drivers, pedestrians, runners, dogs...whatever it takes, so that we don't eventually lose the right to use the roads that we enjoy so much. Could you imagine being limited to a stretch of bike trails for your daily riding? Yeah, me neither. When you are out on the road or riding the Oak Leaf Trail, or the Glacial-Drumlin trail, of which both are multi-use trails, please follow the rules and be polite to everyone you encounter. I was on the Oak Leaf trail yesterday and I've made it a habit to say hi to everyone I pass, whether it's a cyclist, a jogger, walker, old lady in a Little Rascal scooter, whatever, I always try to say something nice. I slow down when I come upon someone and go around them with plenty of room and if I know they don't see or hear me coming I always let them know I'm behind them so they don't get startled. Conveying the image that cyclists care just as much about enjoying the roads/trails as they do can go a long way. Unfortunately not everyone is doing that and I saw it last night on the trail myself, there are still jerks out there, hence amb(ass)adors, in the title above. They are the asses, not the ambassadors we need. I probably saw about 5 different cyclists that just couldn't wait to get around someone, so even with walkers passing each other on the two-way trail at the same time, they still were trying to squeeze between them without even saying a word. The trail is only wide enough for 2 people abreast on each side, so to try to squeeze through is just a jerk move and makes us (cyclists) look stupid. What's it going to hurt to wait that extra 3 seconds, I mean c'mon, they were all bike path warriors, nothing more than rec cyclists, so what the hell would it hurt them to slow down? It might hurt their 15mph average speed?? Please. On two of those occasions I was behind the riders so I was able to see the look on the walkers' faces enough to know that they weren't happy. So anyways, that's enough ranting for now, usually I don't get political but after I saw that last night I just had to post something to let it be known that your actions as cyclists can go a long way to keeping us on, or off, the roads and trails we love riding. Please be a good ambassador whenever you can.
Back to regularly scheduled programming.....Tonight I'm going to do a 20-30 mile ride with Mike, who posted on New Berlin Cycling that he was new to the area and looking for someone to show him the roads and trails around New Berlin. I happily obliged so tonight we'll be riding on the New Berlin Rec Trail, the Fox River Trail, and I'll show him the trail-head to the Glacial-Drumlin trail since I doubt he has a State trail pass yet. I'll point out the good roads to ride on as well, but right now I think he's more interested in the trail stuff but we'll see. He's not only new to the area, but new to cycling as well, so maybe I'll make a recurring ride with him to help him out and show him how much he can enjoy the sport. On Friday I'll be doing a normal 2 hour ride after work, just a Tempo ride to get the HR up, and then Saturday I'll be doing what I attempted to do last weekend and that is the GD-Drop the Doc-GD ride. I'll ride from my house to the Glacial-Drumlin trail, from there to the Doc ride in Dousman, do the Doc ride, then ride back on the Glacial-Drumlin trail, and then home. All said and done, should be 100 miles before 11:30ish. Sunday will be a fairly leisurely 3 hour ride at an endurance pace. Looks like the weather will be great this weekend, I can't wait to get out. Well, that's it for now...until next time....

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