Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Monster Ride Day - Part 1

So, I've been talking about this ride day for quite a while. It was scheduled to happen last week, but due to computer malfunction I lost a 100 question final exam I was working on and had to re-do it from scratch. Oh, then after work Monday evening, I had a dead battery so I waited around for AAA to bring me a new one, getting me home after 10pm. Solution: reschedule Monster Ride Day to NEXT Tuesday.

I mapped out a 100 mile loop around Cleveland. I would be familiar with all but the lower eastern quadrant - like 3pm to 6pm region on a clock.   I set out at 8 am.  In hindsight, I'd leave at 6:30 am.  The first 25 miles would take me from my home in Mentor to the Cleveland Browns' Stadium.  Most of it was familiar, except the North Marginal Road portion, which I've run - Cleveland Marathon, but not ridden. I now know why - IT SUCKS!!  It's in bad shape and tough on my bike tires ... which translates to my crotch.  It wasn't fun at all. 

I stopped at the stadium and texted my husband, Ted, who is an attorney and works downtown.  I was hoping to catch him so he could babysit my bike while I used the bathroom and refreshed the water supply.  No luck. He later told me he was in court.  C'est la vie.  Onward. I continued down West 3rd then took a right onto Superior, where I encountered my only rude driver of the entire day! A guy started screaming at me. He had his windows down and a woman in his car.  He honked and screamed. I was in a lane CLEARLY marked and labeled: BIKE LANE.  As fate would have it, he got stopped at a stop light and I pulled up right next to him - in my BIKE LANE.  I looked at him, pointed to the sign and the markings on the road and said: "Dude ... It's a BIKE LANE!  I'm riding in a BIKE LANE!"  He proceeded to mumble something I couldn't hear, and the woman, who was closest to me, could have died.   He then continued to talk about me as we sat at THE LONGEST LIGHT EVER!  I ignored him for about 20 seconds then looked back at him with laser eyes, giving him "the glare"!  He said, "what, you don't like what I'm saying?" (none of which I could hear - I'm substantially hearing impaired - TRUE FACT) but I replied with "you are just highlighting your ignorance. The law says I can bike on the road, and you should learn to share the road with cyclists. Regardless, I'm in a BIKE LANE!"  I'm very certain that my words of wisdom changed him into a new man who now respects the cyclist on the road.  I have a way of influencing people with my words. He'll probably be the new face of cyclists' rights.

Light turned green and he peeled out - clearly humiliated by my words.  I began the moderate climb that is the Superior bridge, and with my adrenalin pumping out from the confrontation, my HR was off the charts!  Oh, and luckily we ended up at the same place, juxtaposed, at the light on the west side of the bridge. Goodie! More fun dialogue!

Onward into Lakewood then, finally, the Metroparks.  The serenity of the valley parkway was welcomed after that urban tour.  The miles seemed to fly by as I headed south into North Olmsted (where I grew up!), Olmsted Falls, Berea, Strongsville, North Roylaton, and then Brecksville.  A lady cyclist passed me in Berea and I kept her in my sites for miles.  Then, I started running low on water. :(  I knew I needed some pronto, but none was revealing itself to me. No stores, no spigots, nothing.  The lady cyclist stopped at a busy intersection and was eating Skittles and drinking as I approached. I asked if she knew of a place I could re-up my water and she said 2 miles back was a spigot.  Ugh, I didn't want to back-track! She did offer me some Skittles!  I declined, I was okay with sugar, loaded with gels, but just needed fluids!  I looked around, considering going left or right and leaving the parkway, when I saw a sign for a golf course! Ah ha!  Seneca Golf Course, I'm coming to your clubhouse! 

The clubhouse was filled with seniors.  FILLED!  They all gawked at my sweaty, dirty, nasty self as I made my way to the counter.  A guy came up and I placed my order: 2 bottles of water, a fountain Coke, a G2 - Blue, and oh yeah, a Snickers.  Would I like it frozen??  ABSOLUTELY!  Total cost: $5  What a deal. I'd have given him $20!  

A brief reprieve to eat, hydrate, update Facebook and check in with the hubby, who was worried I was stranded.  After eating, I felt MUCH better and off I went.

Now here's where things got ugly ...

No comments:

Post a Comment