Group Rides

Join us for evening indoor training rides on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 5:30pm at the Recycle Bicycle Shop in downtown Ellensburg.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Yep - a wipeout - the stupidity of it all

Here we are in mid-February with weather that has had us feeling like we live in Seattle. Finally, yesterday we had a break, temperatures close to 50 degrees F and SUNSHINE! The only negative was the wind blowing at Kittitas County's normal 15-20 mph.

And, I guess I'm entitled to one stupid move for 2010. I just had to go for a ride so I grabbed my favorite '84 Gitane Sprint and headed out. Three miles into my route I turned west which then means I have a crossing headwind from the right (northwest). When the wind is blowing this hard it's easier to lean into it a little to keep from being blown across the road.

All was going well until I skipped a gear and looked down at the same time I hit a wind break. Well, leaning to the right with a wind break (and your eyes not on the road) causes you to drift right. I looked up just as I was nearing the edge of the road. I had time to hit the brakes and slow a little, utter a choice word and realize "this is going to hurt". Fortunately the ditch was pretty soft, although there were some large rocks in it and the bottom was full of water.

The tires sunk in the ground and the bike slowed quickly. I was able to get one foot out of the pedal and then the bike fell over with body taking the brunt of the impact on the edge of the road. I had to use my right hand to detach the other foot from the pedal, climbed out of the ditch, did a quick survey of the bike and wiped off some mud. My arm and knee hurt badly but there was no way I was not going to complete the ride. So even with 20 miles to go I hopped on and finished.

What a way to start the year. The worst part was a friend had just passed me in his truck and witnessed the whole thing in his rear view mirror. At least I was able to finish the ride.

My left arm has most of the scrapes and bruises. The bike looks ok with the left crank arm getting a little scraped and there's a small chip on the left seat stay.

So, what did I learn. As one person said on Bike Forums as a cyclist we will 1) crash at some point and 2) will not be able to avoid #1. It's been 13 years since my last crash and I can definitely go that long again.

Don't take your eyes off the road. Easier said than done. I like looking at the beautiful scenery of the valley, but my mistake was doing too much at one time. It's a lot easier to glance away but look frequently at the road.

It was a stupid thing to do and I'll remember it for a very long time.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Swap meet season is set to begin

The beginning of a new year also brings the beginning of a new bicycle swap meet season. I hadn't attended a swap meet until last February and I have to say I am completely hooked now. There are treasures to be found, deals to be made and comraderie with other cyclists to be fostered. From new and used parts, to new and used clothing, close out deals, complete bikes and more - you can typically find something you can use.

The first big event of the year is on February 27th in Seattle. Information can be found on the Cascade Bicycle Club web site. Click on the link to their site in the link section to the right.

Happy swapping.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Thank you Kittitas County road crews

I just have to take a minute to thank the county road crews for clearing trees and shrubs from the ditches on Wilson Creek and Look roads. We'll loose some wind protection in a few places but it will be great to have many of the branches that were growing onto the roadway out of our way. Too many times in the past couple of summers I had to dodge those branches by ducking (if a car was coming) or swerving into the lane to avoid getting hit in the face.

Soon, much of the gravel will be cleaned off the shoulders and we'll be into full time riding as the weather gets warmer, sunnier and drier.