Great teammates and a dangerous Volvo

Yesterday I posted the race report for the weekend.  Still there was more to the weekend than just riding bikes.  There was time to spend with friends — both old and new.

Some of my mates at SC State Criterium Championships

Some of my mates at SC State Criterium Championships

This was the first opportunity for me to spend any amount of time with my new teammates.  My first race with the POA Cycling Team was a quick up and back to the River Falls road race.  Since I was a late comer to the team, I also missed the early training times.

Because of my kids’ activities on Saturday, I was unable to be there with the team for the Saturday races.  I headed down later that day with plans to join them for the afternoon races on Sunday.  So at 6 PM I rolled onto Kiawah Island to join a number of the crew.

Matt and Reece met me as I was driving onto the island.  I followed them in my car to the Kiawah Island Club where I unloaded my bike for a ride.  I just wanted to go out for a quick 30 minutes to loosen up a bit.

As I headed down the road back toward Charleston I was moving along 25 and 30 mph along the four lane divided highway through a mixed residential and commercial area.  I had spun for awhile and was now opening things up a bit.  My plan was to do several of these accelerations before heading back in.

About this time I noticed a car to my left in my peripheral vision.  It was flying up in the inside lane beside me and I could see the flashing of the right turn signal.  The car suddenly slowed and I could see the driver about to turn right – across the two lanes of traffic – and at the same time I saw the passenger grab the armrest.  The driver made a move on the wheel and I saw the car swerve toward me and then brake.

Thinking back, I tried to figure out what I might have done wrong as I continued along my way with the driver’s horn blaring behind me.  I was traveling along the white line with the flow of traffic.  I made no motions to indicate any turn or change in speed.

What I think happened was the driver was wanting to make a right turn into a street off the road.  He completely misjudged the speed at which I was traveling.  He thought he could get past me and then turn into the street before I got there.  However, because I was going much faster than he thought, he didn’t make it around me soon enough.

So, why the horn?  Frankly, I think he was scared and embarrassed.  Of course, he wasn’t going to take that out on himself.  He had to aim it at the stupid cyclist – who was obeying the rules of the road.

I returned to connect with Matt and Reece before heading to the place where we would be staying the night.  There I found a good number of the crew.  Matt was working on some sort of pasta dish and Samantha was loading garlic into another one.  I had stopped by Chic-fil-a on the way down, but this looked like a worthy second dinner.

As we ate we talked about the races that day and various other topics from social media to our favorite dog chase stories. It was nice to get to know everyone a little better. Later several of the guys and gals actually sat down and watched NASCAR with me.  Now that is the beginning of a great relationship!

Cycling is a team sport.  The POA Cycling Team showed how it can work in the 35+ Masters race the next day.  Not only is it important for strategy, it is also good to have trust in the fellow riders around you.  When things get dicey, it is nice to see that teammate beside you.  Building that trust happens both on and off the bike.

Thanks for a great weekend, POA Cycling.  I appreciate you all letting me come onboard.  Here’s hoping I can get a couple of good results for the team this year.  Even if I don’t, I’ve got your back – that is unless I get taken out by a baby boomer in a Volvo.

Oh, and a huge thank you to the Petersons for opening their homes to us.