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!


B.o.B. said...

Men! Pfft.


bradleyd3 said...

If I know you or not....the answer is yes....I'm racing you. LOL

Karen Talley Mead said...

I HATE THOSE GUYS! And I can't believe he actually SAID something. I bet you were wearing a backpack too and he wasn't. What is with the dudes that feel it is somehow OK to feel proud that you just "beat" a girl wearing a backpack who is just trying to get home? I'm glad you squashed him. Maybe that will save me from having to race him in the future.

Kathy said...

I love my bike commute but there are some jerks out there. This guy sounds like he takes the cake.
Yesterday I was riding in and doing some intervals, because my commute is basically the only time I have to do bike intervals midweek. I passed a guy who half a minute later passed me back and then swung right in front of me and, surprise, slowed down. I had to pass him again to keep the interval up and as I went by he definitely said something. I don't know what it was, but it didn't sound very nice. Good job winning the ride home!

James Ford said...

Of course he is racing you and if you won, then you obviously had not gone as far as him! :)

Caroline said...

Beth - My thoughts exactly, ha!
Brad - I will "race" others and they don't know it, but I'd never say anything, which I guess is the difference between me and him. But I've totally done the racing someone when they don't know it (and I often lose, womp womp)
Karen - I was wearing a backpack and everything! I love your logic btw, perhaps he won't challenge anyone else to a duel.
Kathy - Ugh, the worst!
James - I'm betting you read the guys mind. He was continuing on the bike path after I turned off, so I'm sure he consoled himself with that thought :)