For the first time in months I jumped on the old bike for a Saturday peddle. Young Son had been riding Old Paint to and from school for months until he upgraded to a super spiffy light weight bike and left OP behind to sit in the garage and gather cobwebs.
For some reason last weekend I was inspired to dust it off and take it to the shop to get its various ills corrected (which they did at no charge - thanks Performance Cyclery!) and made it ready for a bike ride. Today was the day.
The weather was nice this morning, not too hot or windy, and I had no pressing commitments so off I went.
Some grouch(y) biking observations from the ride:
1. Pedestrians are clueless. I saw a guy starting to step off the curb in front of me. I rang my bell, a gift many years ago from Young Daughter, that sounds like a door bell from the 1920s: DING-DONG. He looked at me and kept coming. I locked up the brakes and then swerved around him. I don't think he ever diverted from his course.
2. Cyclists wearing spandex are a menace to everyone. I got passed by the spandex crowd on the bike path who blew through stop signs and red signals, passed me with a millimeter of room (why, to see me flinch?) and generally treated other riders as if they were objects impeding their progress. Probably sweet souls when off the bike and out of the spandex but a menace to society when spandex clad. Forget banning AR-15s, ban spandex biking attire!
3. Persons driving cars who encounter bikes are probably wearing spandex. Doesn't matter if the cyclist has the green light or the right of way, they are coming through you if you don't give way. There are two types on drivers exhibiting this behavior: those who lock eyes with you and those who look straight ahead, clutching the wheel with grim determination. Both are potentially deadly.
4. Dads, stop texting when you are with your kids. I passed a shady rest grove with benches along the bike path. A dad and his small son where sitting there on opposite benches, their bikes parked together. Unfortunately the dad and son were together separately. The boy was sitting, swinging his legs and looking around, the dad was fascinated by his phone, tapping away on it. The Missus used to say that I'm too judgmental (can anyone be acceptably judgmental? She no longer says that so either I'm not so anymore or she gave up) but being a grouch I'm permitted to assume that he found his phone more interesting than his kid. Kids are smart and they understand what they see. Dads, stop texting and pay attention to your kids. And you too Moms!
5. Cycling is the best exercise next to walking that you can get. Forget running or jogging, biking is where it's at! Just watch out for numbers 1 through 3 and don't be a #4.
Lastly, for the Grouch family: today was the first day in years that I peddled, without stopping mind you, all the way up Garzota without stopping. Yay me!