Floyd Landis stuns everybody on stage 17; Raymond less impressive


Wow.

I delayed my departure for work Thursday morning until the results were in. And then I was inspired by Floyd's fantastic performance to kick it up a notch on one of the hills on my route, only to find about two thirds of the way up that there's a reason I don't normally go up the hill that fast... (On an unrelated note, a mini-van tried to run me off the road while I was heading up that hill. They pulled up next to me and then started a right turn. Fortunately I was able to escape to the right.)

Okay, well, attacking that hill wasn't such a great idea now, was it. I decided to continue with an alternate route that takes me up a different hill, and I was able to dispatch it with a decent amount of vigor. (Crossing the street at the top of the hill, another car tried to run me off the road. At the corner was a pedestrian and one other cyclist. A car pulled forward to make a right turn on red and didn't notice the three people waiting to cross the street. Just as the driver decided that the coast was clear, the light turned green, and zoom off he went, right in front of us. A little squealing of bicycle brakes and nobody got hurt, at least not this time. That's one of the skills you pick up as a bicyclist: Detecting which cars are going to try to kill you.)

Okay, so my attempt to "really show the road who's in charge" wasn't quite the overwhelming success I had hoped. Undaunted, I also picked up the pace on the way home, and at least that effort was successful: I set what I believe to be a personal best time. Go me.

Comments (17)
  1. Trevor says:

    Best Tour de France stage in years.

  2. expr says:

    Speaking of drivers trying to kill you:

    Back in the ’60s, while training for the Rice beer-bike race, we used to work out at night on the one mile loop around the Herman Park Zoo (no roads from the inside of the loop). I had some guy pull up next to me, point a gun at me and say something on the order of "I could shoot you". Fortunately, he did not. Another rider had a car pull up next to him and a passenger stab him in the stomach. Not too seriously. A short distance ahead, he came upon a police car. On telling them about it, they obligingly took off to look for the perpetrators leaving the cyclist to get himself to the hospital. After that we rode in large groups.

  3. Jacobo says:

    Perhaps you should equip your bicycle’s frame with menacing paint-scratching spikes :)

  4. Pops says:

    Not all drivers are trying to kill cyclists. Sometimes a driver will experience sensory overload, and then the brain filters out stuff it deems unimportant — like bicycles and motorcycles. If someone could just figure out how to reprogram the filter…

  5. The drivers should have certainly have waited, but this is also why bicyclists should not be using the sidewalks pedestrian crosswalks.  You’re supposed to wait at the red light along with all the other vehicles.

    As a pedestrian I’ve had cyclists nearly run me over on the sidewalk, and as a car driver in the Redmond area I’ve often seen cyclists zip along doing 20+ mph on the sidewalk and suddenly dart across an intersection where.  Every time I see it I think, wow, that’s a very serious accident just waiting to happen.

    [The first incident, I was in the bike lane. The second incident, I was on the bike trail (which shares the crossing with a pedestrian crossing). I do not ride on the sidewalk. -Raymond]
  6. This is an image I saw on paul.kedrosky.com

    Floyd Landis’ chances of winning over time according to bookies:

    http://www.kedrosky.com/images/landis2.gif

  7. Broken arrow says:

    Hi,

    Just wanted to say that ten days ago I broke my wrist while I was biking around. Split second, just one moment of July 13. Now, I’ll be using mouse with my left hand until August. So…

    Raymond, do take care.

  8. Pete R. says:

    Once, while living in Indiana, I was biking on the narrow shoulder of the road I biked on twice daily, to and from school.  One day, a rusty pickup truck pulled up right alongside me, and then honked at me.  Scared the *bleep* out of me.  I veered off into the rough grass on the side of the road, but managed to stay on my bike.

    I think biking not only teaches you to determine the drivers who are going to try to kill you, it also heightens your awareness when you yourself are driving.

  9. Phil Wilson says:

    I walk to work, and the traffic light scheme amazes me. You are a pedestrian waiting to cross the road, and cars are immediately to your left. The light goes green for the cars and the "walk" light goes green for the pedestrians to walk right in front of the cars. Considering that the general idea of traffic lights is to prevent collisions, the fact that pedestrians and cars both simultaneously get the "go" signal so that they can collide seems stupendously ridiculous.

  10. Nicole DesRosiers says:

    Sometimes I think the bicyclists are trying to get killed.  Yesterday, a bicyclist at the crosswalk at 148th, near RedWest, decided that traffic signals didn’t apply to him and tried to cut out into traffic.  The light was green for the cars, so I don’t think he had right of way.

  11. Nick Lamb says:

    Phil, I frequently walk a route where parallel pedestrian and car lanes receive a green at the same time, but it’s safe because the pedestrians are protected by a filter behind them. Cars which would otherwise turn across the pedestrian crossing have already been filtered and a late turn is prohibited. Obviously if you’ve never seen this junction before it can be surprising to step off the curb and see the cars next to you accelerate away at the same time, but they aren’t going to hit you.

    In other words, are you sure that the junction you’re talking about is configured to encourage a collison, or did you just never look carefully at the signs?

  12. Ry Jones says:

    they’re rebuilding the bike/horse trail along 140th from 40th north. I know this won’t help you, but it’s nice to see some effort going into rebuilding the bike/horse trail there. Right now it is a single bike-tire wide rut along the edge of the road with a ditch to the right and traffic left.

  13. Cody says:

    The general bike-as-pedestrian rule is:

    If you are on your bike, you’re a vehicle and have to be in the road and follow traffic lights.  This makes intersections difficult as cars can cut right in front of you, but works very well on long roads where cars won’t be turning right often or you can dodge that situation.

    If you are off your bike, you’re a pedestrian and have to be on the sidewalk and follow pedestrian crossing lights.  This makes intersections quite nice as the walk light and other pedestrians around make it harder to kill you.

    As a result, what you can do is ride up to a busy intersection, hop off, pulling the bike on to the side walk, then wait for the walk light, cross, then hop back on.  Seems to work just fine as far as I’ve seen.

  14. Phil Wilson says:

    In response to Nick: Yes, most intersections with lights are configured that way, so perhaps I mis-described it. I’m walking in the same direction as the traffic, in parallel with it. When the lights go green, the vehicles to my left get the go-ahead to turn right (as well as go straight) crossing the walkway where the pedestrians have just been given a go signal.

    ————————————- 
    Cars->right turn and straight ahead->
    ——-         ——————–
    Me->  |Walkway->|  
          |         |
          |         |
  15. Matthew says:

    It’s much easier to win when you’re a drugs cheat.

    Shame on him.

    So much for American hero.

  16. Randolpho says:

    For those who think Matthew is just being cynical, here’s some late-breaking news:

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/sports/2003156267_weblandis27.html

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