Sunday, March 25, 2012

Road bonks, and a complaint.

To start, furthering adventures with a Pugsley. Friday evening I took Snowblind out on a mud and snow ride, to try to dial in the fit a bit more. This is hard to do on a Pugsley, because instead of paying attention to how the bike feels, and how I feel on the bike, and deciding what needs to be adjusted to make it more comfortable, I find myself aiming at obstacles to see if I can climb over them. Steep uphills, technical climbs, rocks, boulders, trees... it's too much fun, because it climbs over everything, almost.

What? It's fun!

On a side note, remember all the snow in my post on Monday? It all got packed in Snowblind's rear rim:
The balance was definitely a bit off.
 Fatbikes are fun. Embarrassingly so.

Saturday saw a complete reversal to skinny tires. I took Surprise out on a good road ride. I fought headwinds in the big ring out to Mormon Lake, then cruised home.
Hard to believe there was 2 feet of snow on the ground earlier in the week...
I ended up pushing a little too hard, I suppose. I bonked and didn't realize it until I was in the shower after the ride and got hit by a dizzy spell, and went downhill from there. I recovered pretty quick, but still. Even on hard mountain bike rides, I've never hit the wall that hard before, and I even brought food with me on that ride.

Road bonks are harsh.

However, due to what I saw on Saturday's ride, I have a complaint. A complaint I aim squarely at my fellow cyclists out there.

*Dusts off the soapbox*

On Saturday's ride, as I got out towards Mormon Lake, I started seeing water bottles on the side of the road. Not the cheap plastic Arrowhead or Evian water bottles, (Though I did see a couple of those) but the bright-colored-cycling-specific-fits-in-a-bike's-bottlecage bottles, in the ditch next to the road. I didn't think anything of it at first, but after seeing 4 or 5, I started keeping count. And I lost count after 15. So let's just say 15 bottles on the side of the road. In a 25 mile stretch.

That's ridiculous.

Now... I've missed the bottle cage a couple times when I've gone to put the bottle back in after taking a drink. I've even had bottles launch out of the cage during a crash, so I understand that these things happen, and I've seen bottles on the side of roads and trails in the past. But never 15 bottles in such a short distance and length of time. I usually go weeks and months between seeing abandoned bottles.

So let's say you drop a bottle. Is it really that hard to stop and pick it back up? It isn't for me, but I ride alone a lot. I understand that if you're riding in a pace line, the entire group is not going to stop to let one rider retrieve a bottle. That would get real annoying real fast. If you stop, the group will not wait for you to catch up. So if you drop a bottle in a pace line... gone forever.

But 15 bottles in 25 miles? That's a lot of butterfingers.

This really makes me want to push an idea I've had for a long time now.

A cycling based adopt-a-highway, where people on bikes armed with gloves and garbage bags pick up trash and bag it, with banners that say "This mile of road is being cleaned up by Flagstaff Biking Organization or Absolute Bikes." Then, people with cargo bikes and/or trailers ride sweep, load up with the garbage bags, and take it to be disposed of.

That's the basic gist of it. There are a lot more details behind it. The problem I have is time, or rather, lack of it to organize something like this. I think I'll throw the idea at Anthony, at Absolute Bikes, and see what he thinks.

But if someone set that up, I'd volunteer myself, Henry the Packmule, and Scrappy the trailer. And I'd pick up those 15 bottles.

Keeping the roads and trails clean is all of our responsibility. Please pick up your litter.

That said...

Today was bike work day. Chains were lubed, creaks were silenced, and headsets were adjusted. And then Exe and I went for a ride with Su. It was a nice chill day to polish off the weekend.
Mileage: 4.8 puppymiles.

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