Friday, June 14, 2013

BM on BM

Near the end of a very intense ride this past Wednesday night, the group finally caught a breather on the river front trail that connects the OPPD power plant south of the Mormon Bridge to the Eppley Airport service road. It was during this time that I made the mistake of letting down my guard. I was chatting and bee-bopping along, not really paying attention to the trail. The wind was gusty, blowing the tall grass across the path, basically constricting the bike path's visibility to about half of what it normally is. When I looked up the path, a rider was bearing down at 12 o'clock. Like right on top of me. Crap. I shifted my weight and swerved right, just barely avoiding the head-on collision. The swerve to the right was thick, causing me to over-correct back into the path of rider as he was passing. It all happened so quickly. We collided, shoulder to shoulder. THUD! Kind of like the a deep base "boots" sound of boots and cats. It was a hard impact. Fortunately, we managed to ride through the collision without eating shit. That includes the riders behind me.

There was some yelling, mostly from my group. The other rider was really angry. I suppose he had a right to be. It was mostly my fault. I was definitely in the wrong place at the wrong time. As soon as the last of the group pedaled by, I circled back to apologize to the rider.

For the record, here's how you apologize. I learned this after years of practice with my spouse. You say:

1) You were right...
2) I was wrong...
3) I am sorry...

After apologizing for being a jackass, his anger subsided. He was less ready to take someone's head off for it. As proof, I still have mine.

When I caught back up to my group, I repeated the apology to have put them in danger's path as well. Let alone having the embarrassment of having to ride with me.

It's funny when something like that happens. Not funny as in ha-ha funny. But funny as in odd. Lots of thoughts passed through my brain as I rode the last few miles of the ride, from giddy euphoria that I survived a disaster by a narrow margin, to supreme shame as to what just transpired. It went back and forth in my brain. At one point, I was whistling like a happy little bird while we were doing 35 mph around the backside of the airport. Then I got dropped and had plenty of time alone to think. And by think, I mean sulk. By the end of the ride, the adrenalin-laced euphoria had passed. I just felt plain stupid.

At any rate, I now know what it feels like to be Kevin Gilinsky.

Sorry Kevin. For that comment above, as well as for yelling at you like a know-it-all-jerk on the BK bridge. To be clear, I'm not sorry for yelling at you, because you deserved it. Just like I did. But I've learned that while riding like an idiot is inexcusable, it happens quite easily. For some of us, me included, it may even come almost effortlessly. For others to yell at such behavior is fine. What I'm sorry about is the know-it-all-jerk part.

So sorry, Kevin.

Happy Friday and safe riding everyone.


  1. Okay, I’ll admit a small grin formed on my face as I was reading the first few paragraphs. However, let me say again that a) I’m sorry for riding like a spaz and b) for provoking you to react the way you did.

    I’m in sales, as well as being married for umpteen years, so I’ve learned not to take being yelled at personally. Probably to a fault. I take the approach of being yelled at and criticized by fellow riders as “Hey, you’re a reasonable enough fellow and we like riding with you…… long as you don’t ride like a spaz.” So, in my world, being yelled at is a sign of love. Needless to say, I feel much love when riding in groups.

    Small errors in this vocation can result into catastrophic consequences. My name is Kevin and I’m a recovering spaz-a-holic.

  2. You were whistling. I just remembered that. Though I don't recall what tune it was. It seemed odd - I whistle a happy tune frequently during a ride, but rarely during the type of effort that was going on at the time. Hmm. Mmm, spazahol.

  3. Thanks for that clarification, Kevin. I think everything you said was spot on, especially all that stuff about being a spaz.

    Fred, I was whistling a reply to the song bird I heard as clear as day while we were just starting to accelerate on the back side of the airport. At that point, we were doing close to 30 MPH and I knew pain and suffering awaited a mile or so down the road. Whistling was my way of dealing with it

  4. I thought it was a Charlie Burton song, hey Fred what is your favorite CB song to whistle at 30 mph when riding?

    Bum Ticker?

  5. I gotta be honest Shim. When it's whistling and Charlie Burton - It's always "(You're not playing fair) Elise."