Sunday, April 11, 2010

First Real Road Ride of the Year

Yesterday I finally got to ride my Opus III again.  Have I mentioned yet that I love this bike?  It fits me perfectly, is such a joy to ride, and I truly consider it a gift.  Total, I logged about 40 miles.  I want to say the weather was pristine, but it was a bit cold when I left, which was 7am.  I had my shoe covers on, arm covers, leg covers, something around my ears too.  Thankfully I was able to take all that off later in the day, when the weather really was pristine.  I rode from my house out to Walnut Creek Park for a Specialized demo-day hosted by Cville Bike and Tri, a local shop here in town.  I was invited there by the owner to help promote an 8-week bicycle course for novice cyclists that he asked me to teach through that shop starting next Saturday.  

On my way out to the park, coming up Old Lynchburg Road, I had my first real experience with dogs while riding in a rural setting.  Just as I began a long uphill, 2 mangy muts bolted after me.  I thought they might come to the edge of their yard, and not do too much more, but when they ended up right at my heels with no sign of stopping, I realized the chance I might get bit was increasing.  I decided it would be best to just keep pedaling until I got out of their range.  I picked up the pace, and they did back off after I got further up the road.  I was thankful for that, but then my adrenaline started increasing after the fact.  It was not an enjoyable experience to say the least.  I dread ever having to actually get off the bike and face-off with any dogs.  It really was a 'dog day' when later on a 16 mile loop from the park I encountered 2 more dogs.  I was with 3 other people, and the dogs saw us coming ahead of time.  The first dogs of the day came up behind me and weren't able to get in front of the bike.  This second set of dogs came out in front of the bikes, and kept getting in the way of the front wheel.  We had to swerve alot to avoid hitting them, but were able to pedal away from them by the end of it.  They say that if you have to face a dog, and get off the bike, to put the bike between you and it.  I was wondering what that might have been like had I had to do that.  Each time, it was not just one dog, but two coming.  Would I have been able to keep them both between me and the bike?  

By the end of the day though, it was a satisfying ride, and felt good to be back on the opus.  

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