TT: Pleasure or Pain?
Boston Mountain Cyclists , along with The Community Bicyclist, are once again hosting time trials near Two Rivers Park in Little Rock. Follow the time trail link for the event flyer, but basic info is that the event takes place near where the RR tracks cross Pinnacle Valley Road west of Two Rivers Park at 6:30 most Thursday evenings. A time trial is called the "race of truth" because there are no team tactics, no drafting, and no hiding in the pack. It is simply a matter of a single rider covering a set distance as fast as they can. Much of time trialing is a mental exercise, with some riders excelling at the discipline, relishing the solitude and the pain, while others simply suffer.
Time trialing is about maximizing the pain to minimize the time. If you've got much left in your legs at the finish line, you're not doing it right! For good time trialists, the pain is said to be exquisite, for us regular folks, it just hurts!
Patrick, Andrew, and Evan are through with the suffering part and have moved on to "goofy".
My buddy Mike and I rode out to check out the TT last Thursday and as we rode through Two Rivers Park, we started seeing cyclist after cyclist, many with trial bikes and aero gear and many with standard road kit, all intent on their mission. It was reported that 55 riders had participated that evening, and the series is growing. I might even venture a try before they lengthen the course next month!
The crop is in!
I really enjoy it when I stumble across edibles growing free in the wild. Along the River Trail, there is a bumper crop of mulberries, and the trees are readily located by the purple stains puddling the trail.
These fallen mulberries mark the spot! Ripe mulberries are sweet, tasty, and very common along the NLR trail. Once you start looking for them, it becomes easier to spot the many other mulberries nearby.
It seemed early for mulberries, so I checked the date of my post on the subject from 2011. It was a full month later, with berries ripening in mid-May. Folks, I think we're going to have a long, hot summer!
I would advise against white bibs as a general rule, but if you choose to go that route, you might want to skip the mulberries. You cannot eat the ripe ones and hope to come away unstained.
Good for the goose...
While I'm a lover of almost all living things (my exception list starts with chiggers and buffalo gnats), I supported NLR's goose hunt plan. Though I had little appetite for blasting the pesky fowl, action was definitely needed. A compromise was reached with folks who protested the hunt and, though the friends of the geese have come up short of their promise to raise funds for the effort, the NLR Parks folks contracted some "hired guns" in the form of Australian Shepherds to keep the geese moving along.
This is a job that I could enjoy! The Aussies bringing up the rear have done a good job of moving the geese out of the northside parks.
Goose? Goose? Anybody seen a goose?
Since the dogs have gone to work, I've seen gaggles of geese in some new locations, including the grounds of Garver, LLC, and a field on County farm Road. I assume they are refugees as the numbers in the parks have dropped dramatically. To that I say good riddance, and I hope that the solution is permanent.
The speed-indicating sign on the BDB was operational for a short time, the went to "00". I think it attracted some speedsters, but surely none beat this time posted by the devil-may-care Robert SanJuan.
Before complainers jump on Robert (who is properly attired for villainy in his CARVE kit), he was riding a very sensible speed as he passed the now-constant "66".
And on top of that.....or not?
Is it an epidemic, as one bike shop guy called it? Is it a fad? a fashion? a fetish?
I'm talking about the seemingly increasing number of cyclists choosing not to wear a helmet. I expect it from the Wal-Mart bike crowd and from the dudes with black T's and BMX bikes, but there suddenly seems to be a lot of kitted up road riders riding bare-headed. Granted, most appear to be newbies, but I still don't get it. They say there are two kinds of riders, those who have crashed and those who will. I had been riding a couple of years when I first heard that and at the time I had never been on the pavement other than a minor "failure to clip out" incident. It wasn't long, however, before I had my first abrupt encounter with the asphalt. Then I had my second. Then I had what I hope is the worst accident that ever happens to me.
The compressed area in the upper right of this photo was the impact point when I crashed last March. The blow was enough to knock me unconscious, chip the orbit above my right eye, fracture eight ribs and a vertebrae. The foam was compressed and fractured and I believe that it saved my life.
I've heard all the excuses for riding without a helmet and don't buy into any of them. Modern bike helmets are cool and comfortable. If yours is neither, go shopping.
I'm not much on rules and I've been told that pushing helmets "discourages people from riding". If that's so, then perhaps they don't need to ride. I also think that bumping around on platform pedals and fat tires is much lower risk that riding clipped in on a road bike. Choose your own headgear, but please keep your health insurance current as a consideration to the rest of us. I would speculate that most of the bare-headed riders fall into the "those that will" category alluded to in the first paragraph. "Those that have" can usually be seen with helmet firmly buckled.