Friday, October 26, 2007

Traffic, traffic, traffic

Traffic #1: Beth and I drove to the Cities Thursday evening for a fundraiser dinner at the Depot. We ran into the usual bumper to bumper traffic on the way to downtown, and it got me thinking about how happy I am to be in podunk little Saint Cloud. In Mpls, rush hour is actually multiple hours, especially with the I-35 bridge down (God rest their souls). In Podunktown, we have rush minute from about 7:49 to 7:50 every weekday. It sometimes even makes me miss the one stoplight I have to go through. By car, it's 7 minutes to work during rush minute; by bike (my Bianchi Cafe Racer) it's 11 minutes. DOC'S ADVICE: Read it and weep, Big City Boys!

Traffic #2: props to JimmerC for calling a spade a spade with his cheaters post. He got a lot of comment traffic on that one. Not to say I wasn't impressed by seeing those pix of guys riding the rails up the stairs. Wow, that's another league. But it's still not the intent of the course designers, and at face value, it seems pretty obvious that running was what was intended. Heck, next year maybe I'll enter Boom Island, bust all the tape in the "Pyramid of Pain" (unlike Painman here, pic courtesy of SilverSone), and maybe win the A1 race (unless everybody follows me, which is usually what happens when one guy chooses to flout the rules).

I'm just a lowly Cat 2 Master, a mere grasshopper to the strong and mighty Elites, but I think the young bucks should think about the effects of their decisions on those coming behind them. You might say "I'm no role model" as I heard Charles Barkley say once, but just because you don't want to be one doesn't make you not be one. If some young kid looks up to you, then you are de facto a role model. The question is: don't you want to be a GOOD role model? Sure, the option for riding the rail presented itself as a possibility, but if there's a doubt about the legality of an action a fair rider chooses the fair approach while the presumptuous [adj. (of a person or their behavior) failing to observe the limits of what is permitted or appropriate] rider takes the chance and hopes to get away with it. DOC'S ADVICE: this isn't the Tour, and you don't have $20M riding on the win. Even if you did, you should still play fair and be a good role model (don't we all wish that the EuroPros would take Doc's advice?!!).

Traffic #3: Chia Chi posted some Chinese traffic rules that sound awfully similar to ones I've observed around the 3rd world: in Guatemala City, Bogota, Bankok, Phnom Penh, and most other 3rd world capitals that I've witnessed. Phnom Penh was particularly interesting: I was visiting the city escorted by an American friend who is a missionary there. As we pulled up to an intersection, we would be engulfed by a sea of mopeds and motos that filled ALL the lanes at the intersection. Those waiting at the opposite side of the intersection did the same thing, so that it looked like two moped armies poised to rush headlong into the intersection and engage in hand-to-hand combat. Which is basically what happened, minus the knives and bayonets. Somehow we got through the gauntlet unscathed each time, though every once in a while we saw a twisted moto on the ground next to a still body in the middle of a street. I think of that when I'm tempted to bust the yellow line behind a particularly nasty echelon in a crosswind attack. DOC'S ADVICE: traffic rules and common sense are there for a reason. Don't be 3rd world or you'll end up a flaming wreck.

BTW, I finally felt the love and got back on the road today. Three hours of balmy sunshine and no traffic. I rode to Jim Bell's house and he took me on a tour of southern Stearns county (and maybe northern Meeker county). Ha! Riding in this weather in late October is like CHEATING (but it isn't since the Intelligent Designer of the weather intended for us to do what we did). DOC'S ADVICE: 'nuf about cheating. Let's learn the lesson and go biking instead.

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