A Giant On His Bicycle

10
Sep
2010

I’m not a very big guy…..not quite 5’5″ and with all the cycling I’ve been doing, I’m down to around 120 pounds.  But when I’m on the bike, I feel like a giant. Yeah, I know you know the feeling….Unstoppable, Invincible, Indestructible.

This “Bike Confidence” almost got me in a heap of trouble on my ride a couple days ago.  It was a funny situation actually, and it went something like this.  I was approaching a traffic light that I have to pass in order to get onto the highway that feeds a lot of my riding.  As I got there, I could see that the red light would be changing to green very shortly so I slowed into it knowing that I wasn’t going to have to come to a stop.  There was only one truck waiting there for the light to change so that he could turn left.   Just as I got there, it turned green and I cruised through making a wide left turn so that the truck had more than enough room.  As I was turning into the bike lane, the truck still hadn’t come up beside me or passed so I glanced back to make sure he hadn’t decided to go straight or something.  As I started off from the turn, the truck came up beside me and the guy inside started waiving his hands around in a mucho angry fashion.  I was totally caught off guard as I had done absolutely nothing that could have riled him up (I have to admit that there have been times that I’ve done something that I could see would cause someone to get upset….but definitely not this time).

Okay, so here comes the “Bike Confidence”.  As he was looking right at me and waiving his hands around, I looked him right in the eye and very loudly said “What the %#@* is wrong with you?” Yeah, I honestly do not usually swear…but the odd time it just comes out.  As soon as the words shot out of my mouth, I envisioned him either driving me into the ditch or trying to hit me with his truck (Did I mention that this dude was likely around 250 pounds and pretty scary looking?).  Off the bike, I probably wouldn’t dish out words like that to a guy that big…..but on the bike, I feel 10 feet tall. Able to stand up to any mountain, terrain, or big dude in a truck.

He drove a little farther ahead and then gave me the proverbial “finger” out his window.  All I could do was laugh at him in reply.  As he drove off, the last words I yelled out were “Get yourself a bike….it will help with your stress”.  I’m not sure if he heard that part, but it felt really cool to say it.

I honestly still do not know what I did to get this guy going….all I can think is that it really bothered his ego having a bike beat him off the line.  Lucky for me, the jesters and finger were all he was delivering that day.

How about you?  Do you feel like a giant when you’re on your bike?  Let’s hear your stories.

Enjoy Your Ride
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16 Responses to “ A Giant On His Bicycle ”

  1. Tracy W on September 20, 2010 at 6:48 pm

    For some reason, I also get a little bold when I’m on the bike. I commute by bike, so it’s not unusual to get cut off in traffic. When that happens, I usually put an exaggerated look of disgust/annoynance on my face and slowly lift my right hand palm skyward in a motion intended to convey the message, “What are you doing, you idiot?”

    I’ve never really had a confrontation, but it does give me some satisfaction!

  2. John Romeo Alpha on September 11, 2010 at 5:21 am

    I feel like a giant when drivers, for whatever reason, pass me on the road as if I am one, or stop ten feet behind me at a stop light. The stop light space bubble is the most common example. I don’t know why they do it, except maybe out of an excess of caution at seeing a cyclist waiting for a light in front of them.

    • Loving the Bike on September 11, 2010 at 9:30 pm

      That’s right….if you feel like a Giant, the vehicles will give you respect. Here’s to everyone giving the “bubble”.

  3. Chris on September 10, 2010 at 10:44 pm

    Hey, i have a philosophy..if you don’t start it.. then no matter the brute have no fear. I’m 6’3 300+ sooooo..but still.. size doesn’t mean you have the right.

    I like your “Get yourself a bike….it will help with your stress” bravo!

    keep riding! can’t wait to ride with you!

    chris

    • Loving the Bike on September 11, 2010 at 9:28 pm

      Same here….be sure to let me know about that ride you have coming up in Austin. I can’t wait.

  4. Richard Masoner on September 10, 2010 at 4:38 pm

    Love the image with the shadow – very cool!

    I don’t scream & spit too often myself, but the handful of times I’ve directed my ire at a motorist, I wonder how many of them think I’m a total loon because they can’t figure out what they did wrong?

    • Darryl on September 10, 2010 at 8:59 pm

      Thanks Richard,

      I really wish I was a graphic designer, but still working on it. The shadow was the work of my teammate Myron….pretty cool.

      I’d love to check out this year’s NAHBS with you….shoot me the good news that you’re coming for it.

  5. Bryan on September 10, 2010 at 9:34 am

    Well, I won’t get into specifics but I’m more than 2 Darryls. It’s really hard for me to wrap my head around that. Wow. My goal is to get to 170 like Tony so I would still be 50 pounds more than Darryl. Am I giant on the bicycle? Absolutely. Both figuratively and literally. :)

    I’ve been very fortunate that I haven’t had hardly any run ins with angry drivers. Part of it is because I ride early and there aren’t many out. I do get the occasional driver that feels the need to gun it as they get next to me because I may have slowed down their commute a few seconds.

    I did have one lady a couple of weeks ago that nearly took me out though. I’m riding a loop around a local college campus. The time is about 6:20 AM and I pull up to one of two stoplights on the campus loop and am waiting for the light to change so I can go straight. A lady pulls up next to me. She doesn’t have a blinker on. The Light changes and I start to go. I’m starting to roll into the intersection and don’t quite have my second foot clipped in when the lady pulls ahead of me and makes an immediate right turn cutting me off. Close enough that I was able to yell ‘Hey Lady!’ directly into her open passenger side window. Crazy.

    • Darryl on September 10, 2010 at 2:35 pm

      Just keep on working at it and take things one day at a time. You’ll get there.

      I’m here to support and help you in any way I can….remember that.

      Darryl

  6. Tim on September 10, 2010 at 9:22 am

    I’ve learned to reserve my verbal comments to drivers that really deserve my scorn. These days my response to the finger is a wave and a smile.

    Of course I outweigh you by 90 pounds and was trained by my government to visit mayhem on bad people. And you should see the nasty glare I can give people – tends to shut them up real fast. :)

    btw, when we ride after you get to Austin, I’m making you pull my trailer with stuff in it.

    • Darryl on September 10, 2010 at 2:36 pm

      Any driver would be crazy to mess with a Jarhead. Maybe I should wear a jersey that says “Watch out, I’m a Jarhead” on the back.

      Will you be in the trailer when I pull it? Hahahahahaha.

      • Clive Chapman on September 10, 2010 at 2:54 pm

        I’m ex British Army, we called Royal Marines “Bootnecks”, you call them Jarheads, either or, whatever, Marines are Marines to me, just blokes with an unexplainable love of “hitting the beach”, my hitting the beach is accompanied by a body board and a BBQ! Go figure!

  7. Clive Chapman on September 10, 2010 at 8:45 am

    8 and a half stones! Bloody Hell! I’m twice your weight! Not fair! I told you I’m a Rugby player trying to cycle. You must fly up the hills!

    I always said to go with what gave you…and he gave me a bit too much! HAHAHAHA!

    • Darryl on September 10, 2010 at 2:37 pm

      You mean, I’m only 8 stones….hahahahaha. Keep on working at it and you’ll get to exactly the weight you want to be. You are an inspiration to so many and have already done so much. Enjoy it.

  8. Tony on September 10, 2010 at 8:27 am

    OK, first off let’s talk about this 120 pounds. Wow, so not fair on the climbs. I feel light at 170 but I out weigh you 50 pounds, that’s like a small child.

    Anyway all fun aside, I’ve had sooooo many run in’s with the finger, screaming out the window, even had someone throw soda, (at least I hope it was soda) out at me before. Some people are just negative and always in a bad mood and you can just be their pin cushion for the day. It’s always hard to forget you’re not traveling in a 2 ton vehicle yourself, but rather a 3 millimeter lycra suit with absolutely no protection. Love this sport :) nothing like living on the edge huh?

    • Darryl on September 10, 2010 at 2:39 pm

      Exactly…..living on the edge can come in so many variations when you’re on a bike. Fast descents, tough climbs, and soda cans flying at your from a crazy driver. Good to hear from you.

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