Thursday, September 9, 2010

Travelin' Man (and Wife)

We are off again! First Vegas, now Washington D.C.

Since we both had a few days of vacation to burn, we decided to visit our nations' capital. Is that the correct use of the apostrophe? Although the wife has been there, I've never been. We are staying close to the capitol as possible (without breaking the bank), basically just a hop, skip, and jump away from the White House.

Pretty excited about seeing all the major monuments, and I'm definitely planning on visiting the Smithsonian Air & Space museum. Lodging and flights have already been arranged, and Jenny and I are definitely looking forward to the trip.

Cycling update: this Labor Day weekend I did a half-century on Saturday. Again, I ran into the Panama Young Mothers ride from Neola to Panama. I was amazed by the number of people participating, and it was nice to see some other riders on one of my regular routes...usually I don't see another soul on a bike. One issue, something that bothered me and hopefully folks will be more careful in the future. Besides seeing riders without helmets, I also saw support vehicles driving alongside riders. This could be disastrous in several ways...a rider could lose control and easily go underneath a moving support vehicle. Also, the support vehicle is driving on the wrong side of the road. There wasn't a great deal of traffic but what happens when you are meeting a support vehicle in your lane? The support vehicle can't move into the opposite lane, there are cyclists there. The only option is the shoulder. I should know, I was riding in the opposite lane towards one of these support vehicles on the way home. Who moves? Either the support vehicle takes the shoulder or I do. And what happens if we both move at the same time?

I was headed towards a white pickup, and held my position because I had the right-of-way (I was going the right direction in the proper lane), and the truck eventually took the shoulder. As we passed, I heard a shouted "Look out for cars!" I shrugged and continued on my way.

Amazingly, I soon met a larger school bus/van heading in the same direction, in the wrong lane, heading for me. I was weary of playing chicken with 4 ton vehicles, so I took the shoulder and as we passed was unceremoniously honked at. I wasn't sure if that was a friendly thanks for yielding honk, or a 'get the hell out of the way' honk. In any case, I was still in the proper lane.

Next Labor Day weekend, I'll ride on Sunday :>) -D