near death ride

Beautiful, warm weather continues! Felt like a higher intensity workout once again. Crazy Courtney had given me a free burrito card last time I was in Chipotle and it's not fun riding hard without going fast. Decided north Chipotle on the pink bike would be the ticket (it has 28s on it rather than the studs on the Kona). Pace, cadence, breathing were all up. Felt awesome to get out in the warmth and dream about summer. Can't remember getting the legs spinning over 100 rpms so much since cyclocross. Ninety minutes later, and covered in road grime, came back into town from the north and wound my way through the traffic to Chipotle.

After lunch I basically only had enough time, 45 minutes or so, to head down to work and change. I would head down the frontage road, cross at 19th street and then take side streets down to the bike paths and on in.

I crossed under the bridge to IBM and approached a long, gradual left hand turn. A car came by, Nissan Maxima, and something felt off. It buried itself into the turn, almost struck the outside curb before overcorrecting back across the road. Totally out of control, tires and engine screaming, it spun, righted itself and breached the slushy drift lining the road. Slush flew everywhere as the car lurched through, only to shoot forward even further almost to IBM's fence. I dismounted and walked through the slush and mud to the car to find two young women. Each done up in a sort of "hippy chic" motif, complete with creative piercings, low-cut shirts and skirts. They looked at me with absolute embarassment.

Eventually I helped them push their car back onto the road and get out of there. I wish I would have asked them if they almost hit me or if they passed by me "normally", but then lost control because they were checking me out. I think it was the latter, I just don't remember then being real close to me... and if they had swerved around me then why would they have missed the apex of their turn to the OUTSIDE back in my direction.

Vanity aside, the power of the car was incredible. Out of control like that and thrashing along the road like an animal it was easy to appreciate the power at hand, easy to imagine the forces involved and what they could do to me. After they went on their way I reflected on the experience. I think I was hoping to have a feeling of ecstacy or euphoria at my near death experience, but it never came. I even tried to fake it for a moment, as that sometimes seems to be the way to conjure up my expected emotions. I left with the same feeling that I'd get from seeing a bear or a wolf in the woods; initial shock, but in the end just a bit of excitement and wonder once things settled in.

sort of like this, but I ended up doing the pushing...


  1. First, I we to assume you were wearing that same outfit?

    Second, I came into Chipotle to get a to go burrito while you were there. I saw the bike and it's 3" wide bars. I then saw your picture of the same bike on your previous post and put 2 and 2 together (or is it one and one).

    BTW, why the super narrow bars, I thought that was so bike messengers could zip between cars easier?

  2. they are 580mm bars- straight off my mountain bike when I upgraded it...? Run the same width on my Mamasita and the Kona actually. Not everyone is into the GIANT Bontrager Big Sweep style bars.

    Although, I think the right answer is that because I dream of being cool, like a hipster.

    Then again, using super wide Bontrager bars might help me look cool to the "cool" people here in Rochester. Thereby being more effective than my hipster posing? I'll have to look into that? Got any extras laying around?

  3. Huh, maybe I didn't look close enough. I swear they looked crazy narrow, but like I said, I was not gawking at the bike or anything. Maybe I just assumed they were the cut down bars seen around sometimes. I looked more at the frame color/graphics.

    I do have a set of Bontrager bars I believe, 620mm width if you are interested. I prefer 640's though. More leverage, open the lungs more. The bigger sweep is dreamy.

    Seriously though, I was curious why people run those crazy narrow bars. There has got to be a reason.

  4. I thought you were going to say the 2 women were high...

  5. It may be the stupidly short stem I have on there- THAT'S what I really need... a 22.2mm quill stem with 25.4mm stem clamp in a more reasonable length (maybe 110-120mm and with just a bit of "drop")

    Although, I really wouldn't mind some slightly wider riser bars too.

    I do already have a 600mm Truvativ Stylo bar that I plan to run on the Mamasita for my touring trip this year.

    I like the 580s in conjunction with bar ends. I guess I'm old school because until two yrs ago I'd never ridden a newer mountain bike than my, then stock, 1996 Marin.

    Also, just for the record... the sick graphics on that bike are reflective tape. I was planning on just putting it all over randomly, but figured why not go for the artsy look? Heck, apparently some people like it (see above story? although, it had almost the exact opposite effect from the desired one today).

  6. I'd bet they were high- but I was unable to test them. I'm sure they would have been cleared later of any charges... when it couldn't be proven that they deliberately ingested the substance.

  7. BTW, you can get a quill stem adapter so you can run your choice of threadless stems. I have one on my never ridden Bridgestone SS flatbar road bike.

  8. Two potentially high women almost killed you and you helped them get back on the road? Those must have been quite the outfits they were wearing...

  9. Im just pissed I missed the pic...