Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Father's Advice

"Always expect the other vehicle to do the stupidest thing possible and you will always be safe." - Cecil W. Brady, Jr.

My Dad didn't always have much in the way of worldly advice, however I do remember a few dirty jokes, and a few 'songs' that shouldn't be repeated. Ever. However, the advice above has always been with me. I can't tell you the number of times that it has saved me an accident both in a vehicle and on the bicycle.

One place that I've always felt pretty safe is stop lights. If there is a place that I have always scanned with my peripheral vision quickly and merrily went on my way, it's a stop light. Enter yesterday at noon.

I was on my way to the Dakota Dome for my cycling workout. There is a new stop light by the Law School (Rose St.) that is a nice addition, because at noon it can be a bear getting across Cherry St. and it's not as busy a light from the North/South as Dakota St. -- hence, it's a great light for bicycles.

As I dropped off the side walk between the Business School and the Law School the light changed. That gives me all of about ten seconds to get across the street before it changes. I put the hammer down as the countdown commenced: 10....9.....8....7....6....5....Awesome! Going to make it with plenty of time! As I focused on the countdown and I was zipping across Cherry St., out of the corner of my eye I see a Blue Minivan type vehicle - newer style - coming WAY too fast. Yep, it's not stopping. I'm going to get thumped. I swerved as far to the left as I could (thank goodness no car was coming towards me) as the driver FINALLY noticed me and locked it up.

I would LOVE to report to you the license plate that I've become so famous for calling out, but I was so close to the van all I could see was a guy in his uniform (Army? ROTC?) and beret in the passenger seat. Far too close to SEE the license plate. I got a quick glance back at the driver and it appeared that he was on a cell phone (SHOCKING!) but I couldn't confirm that as I was too busy being amazed that I didn't get hit.

I should have stopped, but my adrenaline was on high and I just pedaled on. I did look back and hold my arm out in a "What the heck was you thinking?" motion. The van was still stopped in the middle of the intersection briefly before deciding that being in the MIDDLE of the intersection wasn't the place to be and he went on. There is a part of me that hopes this near accident encourages this person to cut down their distractions when they drive. It just may save a life. It may be mine.

Dad, I miss you but I'm not coming to join you just yet. Thanks for some of the best advice I ever received and it now will be applied at stop lights as well.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Where Did He Go?

Even some of my non-bicycling friends has wondered what has been going on and why I haven't been blogging. I do admit that some of it has to deal with being able to "micro blog" via Facebook, but it's time to give all three of my readers what they want: What's going on inside that twisted mind!

This post is going to be in outline format just to get you up to speed.

I. Bicycling
   A. MS 150
    1. Completed w/ 12 yr old daughter on Tandem. Very proud Dad.
  B. Other
     1. Had injury (see II) so had to back way off.
  C. Schnoctobeerfest
    1. First road ride in two months due to injury. Did decent, but not 100% yet.
      a. My "Cannibal" Belgium Ale homebrew took home top honors in the beer judging.

II. Injury
   A. Small fracture to the medial malleolus (ankle)
    1. How?
      a. Unsure - possible roll of the ankle playing with dog in March.
  2. Duration?
    a. Ankle had mild to severe pain from March on.
   3. Why did I wait so long to have it looked at?
    a. See I-A above. Sometimes a Father's love means taking one for the team.
   4. How is it now?
     a. 4 out of 5 stars
       1. Beginning to think the diagnosis of possible slight arthritis in ankle is real as some days it takes some coaxing to get moving.

III. Why haven't you blogged?
  A. Depression/Not Motivated
     1. Unable to bike even close to what I normally bike put me in a bad funk.
    2. I blog (usually) about biking, and I just wasn't biking.
   B. The Great Flood of 2010
     1. Have spent much of the late spring/summer fixing the wrath of mother nature. Two separate basement floods equals much work to be done.

IV. What's next
  A. More blogging. I promise this time.