And that is why I won’t ride pavement anymore.

Last week was a pretty rough week for me, hence the radio silence. My runs over the weekend were a mess. On Monday, I had an appointment with my rheumatologist that led to yet even more testing. (Did you know there was a spectrum for lupus? I didn’t. Learning as  I go).

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After my appointment, I managed a tired, sloggy run… and then… kaput. I ran out of steam for the week and took a rest day. Errr… Week. I did nothing. Every day I was more and more tired until I could barely even drag myself into work. Thursday night, my cheeks flared with lupus rash and I was so tired that we considered going into the ER. I was at my breaking point. I managed to make it through the night and had just a half day at work on Friday. I called my primary doctor’s office that morning and they got me in to see my doctor that afternoon. And finally… some relief. She is a fantastic listener and always very sympathetic. She agreed to switch up my thyroid medicine since the stuff I had been on for a year was just not working. I started taking the new medicine the next day and, at the very least, felt like I could get out of bed.

Sunday I felt up for a bike ride, so we pedaled the gravel roads around Douglas County. This was the new cyclocross bike’s first gravel road ride, and I had just installed the clipless pedals. They took a bit to get used to as I use Speedplay pedals on my road and tri bikes. Also, the springs were very tight, so it took a few minutes to loosen them up.

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Kansas has gotten a crazy amount of rain, so some of the roads in the area are flooded over. We avoided those and did an hour of hills.

Monday, after grilling burgers and hotdogs (and of course, talking to the boys about what Memorial Day means). I opted for another bike ride. I was still tired, but was feeling enough of a lift to get a ride in. This time we added in a lap around the Baldwin City Lake, and then went further out on the gravel until we hit a “minimum maintenance road.” It looked pretty awesome, but we were losing daylight and Steven was beyond ready to go home. We decided to hit the paved county road back home since it was more direct. It would be dark soon and we needed a “short cut.”

Everything was going fine, my legs felt really good and I kept an easy spin going up the steep hills. And then a mile from town, a car almost took us both out. It happened so fast that I didn’t have time to react. I knew a car was coming, and I made sure I was as far over as I could get (I always ride on the line anyway). Then there was a car practically touching my handlebars and a whoosh of air that almost knocked me over. After a moment, I called out to Steven and he pedaled up beside me looking pretty angry. We started pedaling fast, trying to see the license plate on the car but they seemed to speed up.

I actually did have my Go Pro on my handlebars but was not recording. I was only recording new or scenic stuff, and a paved road didn’t seem too scenic. I decided that I won’t be riding that paved road anymore because it is simply too dangerous. I have ridden it a lot, with friends and alone, so it is a shame that I can’t feel safe riding on a road near my home.

I also decided I should probably always have the Go Pro running so that I can have footage available if anything like this happens again.

There is no reason for that car to drive so close to us. Had I swerved even a few inches to go around loose gravel or just from the wind, I would have been hit. It is sad that some people have no sense of right and wrong, and care so little about their fellow man. Maybe they would feel a little differently if it was their family member out on the bike?

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