But, I can't do that. I knew I couldn't do that. I was frustrated because the last time I tried to go on the bike, I gave myself a flat. I knew I needed to get back out there, and on Friday I finally did.
It was a great ride. I posted in my Facebook status that I was planning to go out for a ride on the trail after work. I had two good friends respond back that they wanted to meet me out there, so at 5pm I met Dannielle and Theresa out on the trail. We rode for 11 miles, talking and having a great time along the way. I was still afraid of the gates -- I haven't gotten over crashing into them in April. But, being out with Dannielle and Theresa, I felt like I needed to be a big girl and act like it wasn't a big deal at all. And, I did fine! Hooray!
Then, Monday, Todd and I went out around our neighborhood for a short ride (only 3 miles / 25 minutes). Since my neighborhood is all hills, this was a serious challenge. We even went up "Devil's Fork," which is this big hill hear us that I use for extreme hill training. It was tough and my legs were burning after.
I've had a lot of trouble finding places to ride. The trail isn't always convenient and my neighborhood is ultra-hilly. Where else can I go? I wanted to ride out on the street (I have a real desire to ride on the Hampstead Bypass near my house), but every time I get up the nerve to try riding around cars, I see another article about another dead cyclist.
- Yesterday, a cyclist was killed in Union Bridge, Maryland (close to my house), when a tractor trailer made a turn into him. Charges are pending.
- A cyclist was killed in Tampa when he was struck by an SUV on his morning ride. No charges were filed.
- August 13, a German cyclist was hit by a drunk driver while cycling in San Francisco on vacation. The driver is currently free on bail.
- In Oklahoma on August 15, a cyclist riding on the shoulder was killed when a truck driver who wasn't paying attention drifted off of the road.
- Boston, August 9, a cyclist (this one was not wearing a helmet) was struck by a car and killed.
The list goes on and on. These are five incidents, all within the last month, and I didn't even list hundreds of others that have occurred this year.
So, my question for my readers is this: Are you worried about cycling in traffic? What precautions do you take to ensure that you will not be struck or killed by a vehicle?
I'm waiting for some insight as I try to reason with how dangerous this sport is.