19 May 2011


Ride #74
Wednesday, May 18th

10ish miles in Sacramento on the Ride of Silence.

We had a small group for the ride (sort of a last minute thing with not a lot of advertising): at least 4 from one of the groups I belong to, 2 from another local group (I can tell from the jerseys), 2 folks about whom I have no clue, and a very interesting utility bike with a side car for the child. I might have missed a few people.

There are at least two ghost bikes near Sac State's campus, so we rode over there to add some flowers to those memorials. The person who ended up hosting this ride was recruited at the last minute (since the original planner was off in Moab for a few days) so there was not a lot of participation. She's thinking of a 100 person ride next year.

The logistics of getting even 10 bicycles clustered around a memorial without impeding foot or vehicle (I include bicycles as 'vehicles') was ... interesting. So I think the organizer's idea of having multiple destinations for next year's ride and splitting the group up (and starting in a place with a larger meeting area) are all Good Things. And maybe if the meeting area had publicly-accessible bathrooms that'd be nice also. A middle-aged bladder is Not Fun.

I encountered again the idea that folks who ride recumbents ride them because they have some disability that prevents them from riding a 'normal' bike. Sigh. As if I'd ever want to ride such an uncomfortable thing ever again.

Our route took us on quiet streets in Sacramento, some with speed-bumps/undulations. I would call them speed-humps (but many people I know would take that totally the wrong way) since they are low and smooth and easy to ride over. Some of these undulations are full width and some are two with a sort of a gutter in the middle. I was surprised by the gutter-type and it was a very strange feeling to have my two front wheels go over the humps, and my rear wheel not. Undulations are fun!

I blinged out my trike with extra front and rear lights, wore my yellow high-viz with reflective piping jacket, and used both reflective flags. I was determined to Be Seen!
Three forward facing white lights; one strobing and one steady on my ride's frame, and a wimpy cheap camping headlamp on helmet. For red lights, I have a Serfas seat-stay blinker mentioned in an earlier post, and a NiteRider Cherry Bomb blinker that is Very Very Very bright. Really, the CB is so bright the Serfas does not add a whole lot. I wonder if I can figure out how to attach a second CB to my headrest?
There are several schemes to add side-visible lights to one's bicycle. Some are passively reflective, like reflective bands on one's shoes or ankles, or reflective sidewalls, and of course the CA legal code mandated side reflectors; but some are active, usually battery or generator-powered LED lights. I got to get me some of those.

I've decided I don't like riding around a city at dusk/night. Especially if it is one I don't know too well. Of course, this attitude might come from having momentarily misplaced the car. I knew it was two blocks down and one right turn away from Fremont Park (our meeting place) but with all the one way streets around there it took me a while.
I did remember that I had parked across from a lively and loud bar.
There are a lot of bars in that area.
Oh dear, oh dear, whatever shall I do?
How about a bunch of U-turns on the handful of two-way streets!
Did I cross the train tracks? I think so....
Hey, is that my Prius?! It is.

And now for a public service announcement.
Let the flames begin.

Bicycles are vehicles.
They belong on the road, if the rider so chooses.
A rider choosing to use the road has a few obligations that are mostly describable as:
"Don't be a jerk."

You are a vehicle. You are subject to the vehicle code.
Don't blow through stopsigns or lights.
Don't ride against traffic.
Be predictable, visible, and safe.

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