Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Bike Trails & Areobars

So this last Sunday the family and I decided to get out of Vermillion and look for a fun family outing. We decided to load up the bikes and make the trek to the big city of Sioux Falls for a little bike trail fun. You might ask "Why drive to Sioux Falls to ride bike?". Well the bike trail in Vermillion is all of about 3 miles long and riding around the streets of Vermillion gets a little boring as the town is all of 3 miles long at the most, not to mention dodging cars with a 6 & 8 year old riders.

We got to Sertoma park and unloaded our rides and we were off. I had no plans on how far or how fast we would be riding as this was family time and I was up for whatever the Mrs. and the kids were comfortable with. We set a pace at about may-be 7 to 8 mph, which my 6 year old girl could handle but still stopping frequently, as in every 2 or 3 miles for her to have a break. Remember now this is a 6 year old girl and an 8 year old boy riding. The longest distance ridden by either of them to that point was Mr. T. a big 7 mile ride last year and Ms. K about 3 miles.

This is the first time either of them had really ridden on a bike trail with true traffic, there were plenty of walkers, roller bladers and bikes out that afternoon. I carefully reminded them of the rules for riding a trail like that, as in SHARE the trail. No riding side by side but in a line, which consisted of me leading, then the kids with the Mrs. riding sweep. We rode and rode. We rode way further than I had imagined and after a while arrived at Falls Park where we took a nice break and walked around the park. This was way further than I had imagined us ever riding that day and at that point the group pretty much decided we were going to try to ride the whole loop.

We departed Falls Park in our single line riding style and up to this point had not had any issues, sure we got passed, but people were friendly, pleasantly saying "on your left" as they rolled on by us. The kids were really catching on riding a straight line and not being too distracted, but remember my kids are 6 & 8 so distractions should be expected. About this time I look up to see a guy coming towards us riding hard, I mean this guy is in a full areo position and riding like it's a time trial on the Tour de France. I call back to the family to give warning to stay in the line as a biker was approaching. My 8 year old glances around me to get a look and of course his bike follows his glance. Granted he strayed out of our single file line a few inches but NEVER crossed the center of the path.

ZOOM, the super cool, all powerful, areobar, BIKE TRAIL, rider goes flying by me, I thought I heard someone say something put figured it was just some walkers chatting to each other. My wife waited a 1/2 mile or so and said "Did you hear what that guy said?" I responded "No" which is when she informed me he had told her to "Keep her f$!#ing kids off the bike path". I could hardly believe it, isn't that is what the bike trail is for? A place where families and kids can ride together safely. I'm glad my wife was thinking clearly enough to wait to tell me or I would have ran down that guy on my mountain bike and they would still be dragging the river for his body.

Regardless of that one idiot, we had a great ride on the Sioux Falls bike trail and I wish we had a trail of that caliber here in Vermillion. I'm also very proud to report the whole family completed the complete loop of the trail. The longest ride by far for everyone in my family, except of course me. It did help my training in one way...I got in a lot of saddle time that day.


Friday, May 8, 2009

Dog Attack

Yeah, I once again haven't posted in a while because it would read something like this. I went to work, I rode my bike, I went to sleep. Well last nights ride produced a pretty good bike story. Good story if you like pain and blood that is.

Cycling Cathy and I rode out of Vermillion about 5:30 for a pleasant evening ride. Our planned route was the Meckling loop which is right at 30 miles, it is a route I ride at least once a week during cycling season and am very familiar with it and the dogs on it. We had a nice ride into a mild breeze and chatted about the upcoming Tour de Kota. We made it to the 1/2 way point in the ride and made the turn to put the wind at our backs. As we approached Meckling Cathy said to me "if that dog comes out after us I'm calling the police." I reached in my jersey pocket and pulled out my "Halt" dog spray just to be ready, you know just in case.

Out came the BIG black dog, and I mean small cow type big dog. I probably had the chance to out run him but that would have meant sacrificing my friend to the beast so the decision was quick and easy, stop, fight and defend. I quickly tried to stop and dismount so I could defend myself on two feet instead of two wheels; the the dog lept at my face. In a totally reflexive defensive move I raised my arm to protect my face. That is when the dog sunk his fangs into my wrist. The dog stumbled after his lunge at me which gave me the chance to get off my bike and deploy the "Halt" spray. I hit him with the whole damn can. It didn't stop him, in fact at this point he went after Cathy, who was now off her bike. Cathy, being the wise lady she is, used her bike as a defensive shield keeping it between her and the dog. She also hit the dog multiple times with dog spray.

For whatever reason the attack finally stopped, not sure if it was the pepper spray or just all the commotion. At this point it was time to access the damage. I ended up with a pretty good puncture "fang wound" on my wrist and some deep scratches on the bottom of my wrist from where he drug his bottom teeth across my flesh.

As I stood on the road bleeding, Cathy called the sheriffs department and made a quick trip to Toby's restaurant to get some ice to put on my injury. During this time the hill billy that owns the dog is trying to catch said beast. His wife, who is standing there watching me bleed makes the comment "we ain't got no money". What ?!?!? I'm standing in the middle of the road bleeding and instead of offering a towel, some water, may-be a flippin band-aid she is worried about if she is getting sued.

A person in the house next door finally came out and offered some assistance. They were nice enough to allow me into their home to wash off some blood and try to clean the wound some. As I'm cleaning up the neighbor lady makes the comment that she does not leave her house when "that dog is out".

The deputy arrived shortly after I got done cleaning up and took our information. All this time the dogs owner still has not secured the dog. Finally about 30 to 40 minutes after the attack the dog was caught. About this time Liz rolled up with the bike rack on the car and collected me and Cathy and off the the hospital I went.

Once at the hospital I got my wound properly cleaned and got a tetanus shot. I was just getting ready to leave as the deputy walked in with the wonderful news that the dog has never had a rabies shot. Oh Joy! Here we go. Much discussion was had by the Dr. people and they finally decided to wait on starting the rabies vaccination series and try to get the dog tested ASAP.

That pretty much sums up the whole event, at this point I'm working with law enforcement on getting the dog destroyed and tested. Positive thoughts for a negative rabies test would be much appreciated.


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Yup I'm still alive

Yeah, I know I haven't posted anything in like 4 weeks and the reason is I've had nothing going on to post about. Ride the trainer...ride the trainer....ride the trainer, you get the picture. Riding the trainer is bad enough in its self let alone blogging about it.

Saturday I finally freed the road bike from the cursed trainer and attended the St Patrick's day ride in Yankton. We had a great time Biking Brady, Cycling Cathy, The Hammer and Tez were all there. We even were treated to a great pre-ride lunch and post-ride beers at the Club House.

Sunday we were off and riding again Craig T., Biking Brady and myself made a quick run to Elk Point and back the wind was tough on the way there and really not very helpful on the way back. The wind really did make for hard riding but if you wait for the wind to die down you won't be riding much in South Dakota.

Monday night Biking Brady and I headed out again for a quick 20 miles and it was pretty quick as we rolled out of town about 5:15 and rolled back in exactly an hour later.

It finally feels like riding season has really started after 3 days of riding in a row. No monster mileage rides yet as the Elk Point and back was the longest of the 3 rides but it feels really great to get out on the road again.

Oh yeah, that new bike is the best biking purchase I have ever made.


Friday, February 13, 2009

I'm in, are you?

Tour de Kota 2009, I registered tonight for the whole week. I missed riding the whole week last year for the first time since it started. I'm looking forward to another good week of riding...even though it is covering a lot of the same territory. I do have to say I'm very excited about the Chamberlain to Pierre day as that is some of the prettiest country in South Dakota and also has some ummm.... should we say.... a few small rolling hills ;) .

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Monday, January 26, 2009

Weekend Stuff

I attended the FAB meeting in Sioux Falls on Saturday and became a new member of the club. It was a good time and great to see so many people show up for a meeting to support their club and cycling in general. I guess now I have a dual membership going between the Lane Hogs and FAB. My opinion is you can never belong to too many bike organizations.

Sunday I was feeling the need to get out and get some fresh air so I decided to give a little snow/ice biking a try. Looking back I should have went for a walk instead. My hats off to you good people that do it everyday, but it's not for me. The temperature was a brisk 7 degrees which does not bother me a bit. The problem I have is the ice and just overall traction. I tried riding on the snow,I tried hitting all the clear spots but always felt like I was a heartbeat away from a bone shattering crash. It might not have helped that I got a good look at the kErnEl's wrist on Saturday. Will I still ride during the winter? Oh yeah, I'm just going to stick to times with I can keep the rubber on dry ground.