Thursday, February 19, 2009

Sligo Creek Trail Condition: Ill-Mannered Winds

This morning, I chose to believe my weather reports rather than my own senses.

Weather reports: "It's not raining outside."
Senses: "It looks wet. It feels wet. And a bunch of concentrated wetnesses are landing on your body."
Brain: "It's just moisture in the air."
Reality: "It's raining."

I am against biking in the rain or even wet conditions. March last year I fell, scratched half my face, and concussed myself due to wet cement. So it was out of character for me to continue biking, once reality had shouted in my ears that it was indeed raining.

Still, I've learned other things from my fall than just to avoid the rain. I've learned not to go too fast down steep hills. And I've learned to stay on the street, not the sidewalk (you'd think the sidewalk would be safer, but you'd be wrong; not enough traction and too much chance of skidding after hitting a deep crack). I got to UMD without incident.

On the way back, I skirted the horse manure that was still there and weaved around the larger glass shards. When I got to an open area of the trail (before Riggs), I was pretty much immobilized by the wind. It was crazy. I was panting just to go a few feet.

Once I passed Riggs Road, the wind wasn't much of an issue. Pedestrians and other bikes were.

I think I'm going to change up my passing etiquette. I'm a shouter. Instead of ringing my bell, I prefer to raise my voice and say "Passing on the left!" For some reason, I think it's nicer to say something rather than make a loud metal PING and expect someone to get out of the way.

But today, nobody knew how to walk on the trail. Everybody was walking on the left side. I ended up sounding like an idiot:

"PASSING ON THE LEF... or right?"

With the third person (an old woman with a dog), I just said "PASSING." That made me sound less an idiot and more a prick.

Even some bikers were getting in on the left-side-craziness. A man with a baby in an attached seat on the bike was biking between his two pre-teen and teenaged sons. They were on the left. Also, they acted confused when I said something to pass them. The father apologized to me as I passed him; I said "that's okay."

Really, it was okay. I don't really get mad at these things. I just wonder if it's best just to use the bell instead of my vocal cords.

1 comment:

Hatandcoat said...

I'd say from my experience jogging on trails, mostly the custis trail, that hearing a ding behind me is most effective. But now I'm imagining you just screaming "PASSING!" and I'm cracking up. Keep it up.