October 15, 2017
Today I went to West Chester to race. Can’t get much better than this event; it is close to home, it is a terrific and challenging course, it is run by a dedicated and good crew. Bob Reuther, Scott Gamble and the Bike Line Team organize the event and donate proceeds to the school district’s wrestling team. Along the way they make sure the event is fun.
At the race today I realized how lucky I am to know and be supported by such a good group of people. At some point or another, these people are there to help you, to lift you up, to laugh with you and to care. They don’t ask for something in return. Cyclists just treat you like one of the family.
If you are not a cyclist I know that through the window of your car cyclists can appear annoying, dangerous or careless. And there are some who certainly are those things. The majority of them are not. They will stop to help you if your car breaks down. They will see if you are okay if you are in an accident. They help lost dogs get to safety (Laura Van Gilder is famous for this). They keep an eye out for problems in the neighborhood. I’ve seen cyclists move things like trash cans or other debris from a roadway so cars can pass more easily. They are generally good people.
Cyclists want to be and feel safe on the roadways and generally try to ride in such a way to achieve that. They recognize a car is bigger and faster and thus a cyclist rides to protect themselves. This can appear rude (and sometimes it is). But you can be sure that the cyclist is a mother or father, son or daughter, a friend. They may have a spouse. They probably have a pet at home waiting for them. They ride for transportation, to get to work, to relax after work, or to be fit and healthy. In sum, cyclists are people just like you, or your child or your parent.
From the perspective of our car it is important to remember that the other users of our roads are people just like us. Let’s treat them how we would like to be treated or how we would like members of our family to be treated.
In my racing I am still working forward with my fitness and I need points for better start positions. At West Chester Cross Race I started 3rd row but was able to jump right up to the leaders where I stayed for just a short while until 4 got away. For the second week in a row I was driving the second group with a load of guys pushing me hard. We battled back and forth slowly dropping guys from our group. I was leading Mike Stevens and Chris Chapman and feeling in control when suddenly I wasn’t. Taking a fast downhill right I slid out and across the course allowing Mike and Chris to attack past. The two teammates worked together and although I tried, I was not able to regain contact. I finished 7th. Feels like it shoulda, coulda been better. Afterward, Mike and Chris checked on me, congratulated me on a strong race. Cyclists are good people.