Monday, October 06, 2008

On Biking...

As Kristen and the kids and I drove home to Lufkin on Saturday, we quickly realized that we were traveling the route of the infamous "Pineywoods Purgatory" bike race.

This is a huge bike race the originates in Lufkin and sends brave souls pedaling all over East Texas. Growing up in Lufkin, I've always been aware of the race, but not too familiar with the specifics.

After sharing the road with them, I have a few observations...
Observation #1. Why the heck are they allowed to drive in my lane?
Seriously...I thought bike riders were supposed to ride on the shoulder. Not on this trip, I guess. This was especially fun when I was driving on a two-lane road and kept veering into oncoming traffic simply to avoid striking one of the riders. Anybody know if this is common? Or are these riders supposed to stay on the shoulder and not share lanes with automobiles?
Observation #2. I have no idea where to buy biking clothes.
I'm not saying that all of these riders were from Lufkin, but I do know that many Lufkinites participate in the Pineywoods Purgatory. And I also know that there probably aren't many places to buy tight little shirts and shorts. I do you go about buying gear like this? Does a dude ride his back in normal t-shirt/shorts for awhile before getting all bike-geared up or are you supposed to get the outfit ready first thing?
Observation #3. I like seeing a chunky brother out there doing his thing.
If there was any upside to riding alongside these folks, it would have to be the frequency with which I saw "husky" gentlemen on this hellish ride. I'll be honest - that warms my heart. As a large man myself, I like to see big men living life to the full. I also lots of ambulances on the road. (These two things may be related...)

So...if you're a biker, help me out. Why do you drive in my lane? Where do you buy clothes? How many fat men have strokes during massive biking marathons?


Artie said...

Jimmy Williams said...

1.The lane is for cyclist too! They must observe all traffic laws but the lane is legal for them to ride in.
2. The Cycle Shop, New Revolution Cycling, and Academy carries the shorts.
3. As a larger guy myself, cycling is one of the best forms of exercise for you. It is also very relaxing. Plus if you have a high end bike, it does a lot of the work for you.

Please watch out for cyclist...share the road!

Todd Wright said...

If the lane is for them, then shouldn't they have mirrors, tail lights and turn signals?

Because that's what the cops want me to have if I drive in the lane. How come I never see cops pulling over bikers?

Lance said...


Your condescension is palpable.

Cyclists aren't in a big box, playing music, talking on their cellphone oblivious to the world. They are far more aware of their surroundings than the large carbon footprint world-killers!

There are NO blind spots on a bike. We have to hand signal when we brake. We hand signal when we turn. Those are the laws.

In short... we got here first. Deal with it.

Todd Wright said...

Maybe they 'hand signal' in Maryland, but of the 60+ folks I passed on the road, none of them...none of them gave any sort of signal.

Arrogant jerks.

Lance said...

Believe me, they wanted to give you a hand signal.

Lance said...

And when you are passing them... what sort of signal do you want?

We don't have to signal when someone is passing us. That doesn't make any sense.

You have been cyclist pwned.

Todd Wright said...

I want a signal when they're moving into another lane.

Specifically, the lane I'm driving in.

Multiple times on my drive I had to move into the oncoming lane to avoid striking a cyclist. Fortunately, that other lane was unoccupied.

But it occurred to me how horrible it would be to have choose between hitting a cyclist or an oncoming car.

These guys are Saturday were riding dangerous, in my opinion.

I also had a "runner" tell me that all "cyclists" are punks. Is there some sort of underground war between you two groups?

Lance said...

Don't listen to that guy...

all joggers are punks.

Lance said...


Happy late birthday.

I love you with a passion with which I am still not completely comfortable.

Robert Conn said...

Todd for your information I have been pulled over by a cop while riding a bicycle.

Then again so was he and I don't think I made things better by laughing at him and saying, "Are you really pulling me over?"

He was obviously very dedicated to his job.