Life Without Wheels: Chronicle of a Car-Free Lifestyle
 
So, many of you know my pet peeve that you should pass on the left not on the right and that you shouldn't shoal another cyclist (pull up on their right and overtake them) at a stop sign or stop light. Today I had the opportunity to attempt to educate another cyclist (whom we shall call the IDIOT), on why passing on the right and in the door zone is dangerous. Here's our encounter:

Me: (over my shoulder as IDIOT approaches on the right): Hey, pass on the LEFT!
IDIOT: What? Hi, good morning (in a flirtatious way).
Me: (in no mood to be put in danger by an idiot who think he's flirting as he pulls up on my right and starts to match my pace in the door zone): Hey, pass on the left! You're putting me in danger! It's dangerous to pass on the right! If I have to swerve, we're going to crash.
IDIOT: (laughing in an exasperated tone that says "whatever you don't know anything): What? Oh, hah. Listen I've been riding for 30 years. Just don't swerve.
Me: (looking at him like the IDIOT he is): No, I'm not going to swerve because I can't hold my line. If a car sideswipes me or I have to go around a pothole, I can't see you on the right, don't expect you there, we will crash. You're pushing me further into traffic. You're putting me in danger. If a car door opens, you're going to swerve left into me and I'm could get run over by a car after we crash. (note: I'm riding on the sharrows, which are just outside the door zone, and IDIOT is in the door zone).
IDIOT: I've been riding for 30 years. Just don't swerve.
ME: (thinking: do you want an iPhone 4 too?) Don't pass on the right. Safe cycling tells us to pass on the left. In your 30 years, you never learned the principals of safe cycling? (Note: IDIOT does not look older than 35. I'm assuming that he is counting his days on training wheels and riding around his childhood neighborhood as "cycling" days.)

You should note that after every reason I gave him for not passing me on the right and putting me in danger, the IDIOT laughed a "oh whatever" laugh at me, completely dismissing very valid reasons to practice safe cycling. He FINALLY finished passing me on the right (although I spent a good 3 minutes asking him to stop riding beside me in the door zone like a fool--didn't call him a fool to his face). I watched him ride in the door zone for about 2 miles, then he pulled off.

Being a cyclist for 30 years or 50 years or 75 years, doesn't give you the right to put someone else in danger. I'm guessing that if he drives, he drives the way he cycles, with no attention to road safety. And paying attention to road safety means paying attention to your safety and not putting others at risk. I'll have put 10,000 miles on my 3 bikes by the end of this year, I've done brevets of 200 plus miles, I've built my own bike, and I'm an active advocate and activist of the cycling community. None of that gives me the right to endanger anyone else. Unfortunately our exchange was not too pleasant, but I hope he'll become curious about the rules of safe cycling and maybe look up one of the handbooks online.

I don't believe in policing other cyclists, but if you put me in danger, I will let you know it. This usually means yelling at other cyclists: pass on the right and ride on the right side of the road. If I yell this at you, please know it's not because I'm a bitch or because I dislike you for some reason. I'm sure you're a nice person, just uneducated about safe cycling. But I'm still going to give you a mouthfull of why it's unsafe. So either stop doing it, or live with my tirade.
 
 
Hello friends, fans, and everyone in between! 

Last Sunday I completed my second double century in 15 hours and 30 minutes. It felt great. I felt great pretty much the whole ride, except for the part where I twisted my knee when I came to a stop quickly and had to unclip quickly. I felt a little twist when it happened, but didn't think much of it. Around mile 160, it became clear that twisting my knee was reaping some unfortunate ramifications, including some knee pain. I managed to complete the ride, but couldn't walk for 2 days. The good news it that my doctor says although I have obviously caused some trauma to the joint, there is no instability and he does not believe there is any serious tearing of any ligaments or minisci. My knee was tender upon touching it, swollen, and had almost no range of motion. My doctor says 2 weeks off the bike with medication and it will be back to normal. He did okay me to swim and walk, with a brace, so I'll be relying on those two forms of exercise to keep up my fitness during these two non-cycling weeks. 

Can't wait for the next double century! Hoping to get the time down to 14 hours total time!