Friday, March 5, 2010

Close encounters of the car kind

14 Miles
40 degrees

I'll rant for a quick second.  Cyclists beware of idiot drivers on 2nd Ave North in downtown Billings.  Apparently one lane is not enough for them an they feel they need to be in my lane even though its a two-lane, one-way street with incredibly light traffic.  When I say incredibly light, I mean I only saw two cars on it yesterday and they about killed me.  I saw two cars today, at the same place, the rail crossing, and again they almost killed me.  One tried to pass the other on the right hand side with me right there.  Are you really in that much of a hurry that you couldn't have waited that extra two seconds to pull out in front of me and then gun it like a madman to get around the other car?  SHEESH!  I always take my lane on multiple lane streets because, well, ITS LEGALLY MINE!  I understand that on a busy street I should move over to the shoulder and pray that no one swipes me, but on a desolate street like the east side of 2nd Ave. North, COME ON!  Next time I'll bring a pry bar and bust out your passenger window if you dare get that close again!

Rant over.  Its kind of a darkish, somewhat gloomy day, and a little colder, so I decided to take it easier today.  I climbed every day this week and I just needed a flat ride.  I had my trusty steed, my mountain bike, since its supposed to rain today and its equipped with fenders.  I rode out toward the bike path along the river.  To get there I take 2nd Ave. N and eventually hop up to 4th Ave. N (busier street) to cross the highway and cut through Metra Park (fair grounds).  The bike path is at the rear of the fair grounds.  I did make a realization today.  Do not ride through Metra Park on an event day.  There are cars everywhere.  I did eventually get out of traffic, made it to the bike path and took off towards the Heights where the trail ends.  I made it to the end, then turned around and instead of going back through Metra Park, I went to the other end of the trail to 27th Street.  I don't know why I thought 27th Street would have less traffic than Metra Park, but I did.  27th Street was packed.  At least the cars were more respectful than the idiots on 2nd Ave. N but I did get pretty nervous with cars flying by inches from my elbows.  It was quite a rush.  Remind me not to do that again.

Well, so much for my nice, relaxing Friday ride.  The bike path was nice but I still put in 14 miles in 50 minutes and feared for my life several times.  At least it didn't rain.

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