Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Weird thoughts and observations while riding today.

I went for a quick 30 mile ride this morning before picking the girls up from COCA and had a few quick thoughts while out on the road. I don't ride with an IPOD or any other device to take my mind off the road. I like to ride without anything, so I can think about what is going on around me and what is going on in my life. I try to almost meditate while out on the bike. Sounds strange, but some of you guys that ride know what I mean.

I have brought this up to a few friends in the past and it was brought to my attention again today. I ride quite a bit in South City and South St. Louis County. I frequently ride in the middle of the day or in the morning between 9 and noon. I will ride down to the Arch on Broadway and then up Arsenal through Tower Grove over to Forest Park and then back through Dogtown and up through St. Louis Hills. I am absolutely amazed at how many people(particularly males between the ages of 16 and 50) that don't work! I often see the same people and I am sure they are asking themselves the same question of me. How is that guy able to ride his bike everyday and pay the bills? As many of you know, I attempt to be a school teacher. My neighbor who is Croatian still can't grasp the fact that I get paid during the summer and don't lift a finger. He just doesn't get it, therefore it makes me laugh. Soo, do you think all these people are school teachers like me? Do they work nights? I really don't think so. I understand times are hard right now and jobs are tough to come by, but don't you think they could be doing something constructive besides sitting on the front porch smoking a cig? Any of you guys that ride in the City ever think of this?

Two days a week I usually make a run up Grant's Trail to get in some sprints. The length of the trail is right at seven miles. On the 14 miles I ride, I probably pass 90% of the people still not wearing a helmet. I pass guys like me riding nice road bikes without a helmet. It just makes me think what an idiot. Does he think he is too cool to wear a helmet? Even more aggravating is when I see young children riding with parents not wearing a helmet. Or better yet, when I see the parents pulling a trailer with two kids without helmets. I see parents riding with kids not wearing helmets and yet their kids are. How does that make sense? I know when we were young we never wore helmets. WE WERE LUCKY. I have seen a helmet save numerous people from head injury, so please wear them.

Last summer while out on the trail, I came up on a woman completely knocked out bleeding out of her mouth. She was with her husband riding mtn bikes without helmets. She was in her forty's just out enjoying the evening on a bike when she it the rear wheel on her husbands bike. Bamb, down she went, out cold. I called the police and the ambulance came and picked her up. I am sure she was alright, but it could have been prevented by wearing any cheap helmet. You can pick a good one up for $40 or so.

Have you all noticed all the alive and dead wildlife on the roads this summer? Back in June, I would see at least 2 or 3 live black snakes and usually one or two dead ones. One day while riding in Ste. Gen County I came across four black snakes slivering across the road at once. As some of you know, I hate snakes. That is why my mtn biking is limited to the fall and winter months. I have also seen a ton of skunks, dead and alive. And just today while doing some laps out at Jefferson Barracks I nearly got ran over by a doe. I got within five feet of a pretty good size doe before she turned and ran the other way. I was going at least 20mph when she came walking out of the woods. I had to stop in the road and make some noises to get her to even notice me. This is not the first time, but just happened today. Last year while on Grant's Trail I would frequently see turkey and deer. I even saw an albino fawn last year near dusk.

How many of you have seen the movie "Victory"? It was the Brit movie of the week this past Sunday evening. It was made in 1981 and stars Michael Cain and Sylvester Stallone. It is about a soccer team being put together from an Allied POW camp to play the Nazis during the end of WWII. Even though it has some cheesy moments, it really is a decent film. Stallone is the lone American on the team and of course he saves the day. If you get a chance, rent it. If you love soccer, buy it.

#5 The most important thought of the day while riding.
Thursday is my 10 year wedding anniversary. Yes, I found a woman to put up with me for the last ten years. I couldn't have met and married a more wonderful person. Without Kirsten in my life, things would just plain suck. She is an awesome Mom and even better wife. She puts up with my cycling, my mouth, my crabbiness and me going out with friends without any complaint. Thanks Kirsten for a fabulous ten years. I love you very much.


1 comment:

matthew said...

I think I do almost the same routes as you. Fo po, down to tower grove, head for broadway, then back up river des peres and sometimes Grant's. I've had most of these thoughts at one time or another, great to see someone else who agrees. Great post. Let me know if you ever want some company on a ride. I usually ride around 9 to noon as well. I also work with your bro at the hospital so that's how I found your blog. Keep up the good work. here's my email.