Tag Archives: South Carolina

Getting buzzed – by a car, that is

One thing I did not mention in the account of Saturday’s ride was the buzzing we received from a driver in an El Camino.  The event got me to thinking about the recent escalation of rhetoric from both cyclists and drivers. I realize there are some issues, but we really have it better than we sometimes think.

We had just turned onto a road after stopping at a stop sign to let some traffic by.  After turning right we began to sort into a double line.  Then came the simultaneous calls of “Car Back!” and “Car Up!”.  In our group ride, that means everyone is to move into a single file line.

The majority of us had managed to get in the line but a couple of riders were still finding their gap when the car behind us throttled it and came flying around us.  I could feel the draft from off the car as he came around.  He reached the middle of our group just as the car coming toward us met him.  It was a narrow squeeze!

An interesting perspective from a French rider who has joined us for several rides.  He came up beside me.  “Ah, one thing I am not used to in America is how slow the cars go.”  He indicated that he meant the cars coming around riders.  “In France…” he gestured emphatically at the El Camino speeding off into the distance, “that is France!”  Maybe we Greenville riders have it better than we think we do.

Frankly, I prefer the guy who comes around fast to the car that just sits back there and you keep wondering if he will ever come around.  Different people respond in different ways.  It has been my experience that the vast majority of drivers and cyclists do try to coexist.  There are those drivers who are mad at everyone – cyclists included.  There are also those cyclists who ride with a chip on their shoulders.  It is that minority that typically frames the debate.

We could live in Iowa where there are efforts from some citizens to ban riders from the rural roads.  I don’t believe it will happen, but it does show that there are people out there willing to take action to attempt to free the roads of cyclists.  At least for us it is merely complaining on the editorial page of The Greenville News.

Now this week we will find the roads even more active with cyclists.  With the USA Cycling Professional Road Race Championship coming up this weekend, the roads around Paris Mountain will swell with cycling enthusiasts and and professional teams.  While the word has been spread, I’m sure there will be many drivers who will find it a surprise.

For a few hours the cyclists have the road

For a few hours the cyclists have the road

I’m not here to preach at everyone about how we should treat each other.  Personally, I think there will always be an uneasy relationship between cyclists and drivers – just as there are for drivers and bikers.  However we do it, we’re going to have to learn to live together on roads.

For a moment I thought I was in France

Yesterday’s ride out to Marrietta gave opportunity to see some beautiful scenery.  It can’t all be described here, but with the humidity lower and the sky only covered here and there by large, white cumulus clouds there was much to see.  It is a route to go in the old course book for later use.

I rode out of downtown to Furman and then to Old White Horse Road.  There is a little more traffic on that road, but I really enjoy it.  The terrain was good since my shoulder and back wouldn’t allow me to do much climbing.  This rolling road allowed me to get a good workout, but without having to get out of the saddle.

After jumping on 276 to ride to Marrietta, I continued on through the town until I turned right on Talley Bridge Road.  It was on this road I saw more beautiful countryside.  In the distance you could see Ceasears Head and the mountains.  Before them was rolling farm and pasture land.

Just as I neared the end of the road, I came upon a sight that reminded me of France.  There was a large field of sunflowers and a hill in the background was a mass that with some imagination you could say was a part of the Chaine des Puys.  It created another one of those this is awesome moments on the bike.

I headed home on 414 to 25 and then back toward Greenville on the White Horse Road Extension.  My water bottles were empty and my legs were nice and tired when the Giant brought me into the driveway of home.  My body was loose and my heart had a song.  The bike – and the great outdoors – is wonderful medicine.

Taking a ride through Falls Park

You might be aware of my video woes.  My VholdR helmet camera always seems to mess me up.  It never seems to be the same thing.  Always something different to frustrate me as I move the hoped for video to my computer.  Whether it will be there or not is hit or miss.

Well, yesterday I went out for a ride.  I stuck the thing on my head and declared, “If it doesn’t work today, I am going to throw it in the trash or sell it.”  I didn’t really care what I recorded.  I just hoped it would record!

I turned it on and started riding.  30 minutes later it beeped twice telling me it had run out of memory.  That was promising — normally it doesn’t warn me of its failure.  Here is just a portion of what I ended up with.

I won’t bore you with the other 25 minutes or so.  However, for sure, Greenville and Upstate South Carolina is a wonderful place to ride a bike.  Perhaps I can get some more video of some of the interesting spots around here.

Do you have any places you would like for me to catch on video?  I’m going to give this VholdR helmet cam another chance.  If it fails me again, I’m going to move to a new POV camera system.