I think this last Thursday or Friday was Ride Your Bike to Work Day and last week was Bike to Work Week. Something to do with Bike Month. Because I work about 30 miles from the house, riding to work wasn’t something I was going to do, however, I take a bike to work most weeks, leave it there, and ride at lunch. I’ve established three or four different routes, changing them as various subnormals* leave their pitbulls unchained in front of their domiciles. Shooting the dogs would unnecessarily complicate my workday, so I’ve found other places to ride. Usually about three to four miles, maybe 15 minute rides depending on headwinds.
Last Wednesday was the local bike club’s Ride of Silence to honor those who’ve been killed while cycling and to raise awareness among motorists that cyclists share the roadways with them. I’ve ridden along on one other Ride of Silence two or three years ago and had found the experience unpleasant but one that also proved valuable in terms of insight gained.
This year, I brought my young son along because it was something he said he’d like to do. I wanted my son to ride with me so he’d have some experience riding with a group and some safe experience riding on the street with traffic present.
This year, I’d adjusted my expectations based on my previous experience. My son and I showed up only a little bit early. I didn’t bother trying initiate talk with anyone beyond a distant “Hello.” Not surprisingly, a couple of kids with whom my son’s slightly acquainted from school did not speak to him. Three people I really like spoke to me, and it was good to see them – it’s been over a year, maybe closer to two, I think, since I last did anything with the bike club.
My son had trouble riding slowly – about nine miles per hour – and some impatience with riders ahead of him slowing unpredictably. He did a pretty good job of keeping his bike’s wheels from overlapping those of other riders. He found the Modikoso uncomfortable at first, and I may need to get him a bike-fit appointment one weekend soon. Amazingly, he was able to maintain total conversational silence during the entire ride. Afterward, back at the house, he told me it’d been VERY difficult to remain silent during the ride. He also expressed some disappointment that our police escort rode bikes instead of the cars with flashing lights he’d expected.
Overall, this was a much better experience for me than my last Ride of Silence, because I’d adjusted my expectations regarding the other participants and because I got to ride with my son.
*EDIT: I call them subnormals not because they live in mobile homes, have several junky-looking cars parked in their driveways, possibly perform shift-work through temporary agencies at the area’s few remaining factories, or even because they have pet dogs some of which are pitbulls. I call them subnormal because they fail to responsibly keep their animals confined. $.02