Observations From a Long Bike Ride

As I’m building for this October’s Rev3 Florida, naturally my time on the bike is building.  I’m spending more and more time on two wheels.  Some people (although it is against the law here in Florida – and probably elsewhere too) wear an iPod while they are on the bike.  I don’t do that.  I have to come up with other ways of spending my time in the saddle.

Yesterday I had a fairly long ride – 45 miles.  So I had a couple of hours to really look around, think about stuff, etc.  Here are some observations from yesterday’s ride:

  • Great Roads:  I live in Northeast Florida – in Saint Johns County, specifically.  This area is a suburb on the southern side of Jacksonville.  The very cool thing about where I live is that there are some really great places to ride around here.  You can ride through farmland (which can be tough as nothing stops the winds), along the historic St. Johns River (the only north-flowing river in America), or along the Atlantic coast.  Most roads have either a bike lane or a pretty good shoulder, and generally the folks driving are fairly accommodating of cyclists (so long as you aren’t in a huge pack and taking over the road).  The roads I was on yesterday were pristine – they were built within the past five years, and the pavement is smooth and clean.  If you’re ever in this part of Florida, St. Johns County is a must-ride!
  • Stuck Song: I don’t know about you, but I get songs stuck in my head all the time.  Just last week, Carole Sharpless (Team Rev3’s coordinator) got the song “Copacabana” stuck in my head for a day or two.  So yesterday I had the Aerosmith song “Love in an Elevator” stuck in my head.  And not the whole song – just the chorus.  It’s so random – I hadn’t even heard the song in weeks.  I have no clue why that song was in my head.  I literally sang the chorus to myself for two hours.

  • Talking to myself:  I’m not crazy, but I found me talking to myself during the ride.  Not too much – I wasn’t having a running discussion or argument or anything.  That being said, it wasn’t out of the norm for me to make a comment when I hit a bump, ran over a nail, fought a gust of wind, etc.
  • Lots of cyclists:  For whatever reason, I decided to count how many cyclists I saw on the road.  Not sure why I did this; I guess it was a way to pass the time.  There were a crap ton of folks out cycling yesterday.  I counted 92 cyclists during my ride.  I skipped over several folks who I saw multiple times and folks who were riding on a sidewalk (like kids, folks on beach cruisers, etc).  I only saw one big group – with 19 cyclists.  Everyone else was either solo, in a pair, or a small group (3 or 4).  Interesting factoid:  the vast majority of folks on bikes were male.  Contrast that with the fact that I also saw tons of folks running; most of them were women.  I suppose that makes sense – the percent share of the cycling/triathlon pool is probably skewed towards men anyway.  I just thought it odd that I only saw maybe 10 women on bikes.
  • Roadside buffet:  Not sure about what roads look like where you live, but here in Florida there is always a ton of roadkill on the road.  As per normal, yesterday’s ride was full of the “normal” stuff – possums, armadillos, a raccoon.  I also saw a bunch of dead snakes (the best kind).  Some were little, pencil-long guys.  There were two monsters that were dead as well.  One was easily five feet long.  I saw some dead baby squirrels (or maybe rats).  And in a strange twist of irony, I passed a group of vultures enjoying a lunch of….another vulture.  Who knew that they’d eat themselves.  Isn’t that a cannibalism?

Credit: cartoonstock.com

  • Trashed:  Not the roads.  My bike.  My QR looks like a coctail waitress that was rode hard & put up wet.  It’s just nasty dirty.  See…a week ago, I rode during the rains from Tropical Storm Issac and never spent the time to clean it.  Now, there’s dirt everywhere on it.  Mix that with sweat, spilled Powerbar Perform, and gel drippings, and you’ve got one hot mess.  Must. Clean. Bike. Soon.

One thought on “Observations From a Long Bike Ride

  1. Excited to hear you’re doing Venice as well! I think it’s going to be a great race. Because of how windy rides here always seem to be, I always get “Against the Wind” stuck in my head.

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