06 June 2013
Bike Commute Throwdown
Have you ever been challenged to a bike race on your commute home? Yeah, I never had until yesterday. And I won't really even say challenged as much as scoffed at. I was biking down the W&OD, a couple miles from home, minding my own business and just focused on getting home when I came to an intersection and waited for the light to turn. As it did, this middle-aged guy in a local triathlon shirt and a roadbike with clip-on aerobars skirts by me, looks at me, shakes his head, and mutters something along the lines of oh, so you think you are speedy and then furiously pedals off (while biking on the wrong side of the bike path, blocking me from passing him). WTH? I hadn't even seen him on the bike path before and I don't know how long he had been riding behind me to make that kind of observation. So I pedal a little harder and stay just behind him. Two can play at this game. We come to another stoplight a few blocks later, I had managed to pass him because he finally decided to move over and I rolled up to the intersection and while I waited for the light to turn, he maneuvers himself in front of me. The light turns and we are off - he goes bombing down the bikepath, taking a sharp turn a bit wide and recklessly (luckily there was nobody coming around the corner the opposite direction), while I hung back, waiting until the straightaway to pedal harder. I can see he is slowing down, the 120rpms burning up his legs (ha!), I zing by while he groans in general irritation that he was passed by a girl. By the time we get to the next light (and my turnoff to my street), I was breathing pretty hard but tried not to let it show, talk about reaching lactate threshold. Maybe in the future the middle-aged guy will think twice about scoffing at a female cyclists - sometimes we can be on the speedy side, watch out!