The Proactive Cyclist

23
Oct
2013

Reactive or proactive

Living in a country with a definite reactionary culture can be challenging…..especially when you’re a proactive type person.

Yeah, I’m not perfect but I definitely lean towards the approach of doing things now to avoid having issues in the future.  It’s just how I’m wired and probably has something to do with being raised by Parents who are that way as well.

I so much more prefer doing what I can to avoid a problem, than having to put out a fire or react to an emergency situation.  That’s just me.

But, if you don’t already know this about Caribbean culture….this is a place where most things don’t get done until it’s an absolute necessity.  Not that it’s a bad way to be exactly, it’s just something not easy for someone like me to adjust to.

Being the proactive guy I am might not save me in my day to day life here in Grenada, but I do feel it works well for the cycling conditions on this island.

This is something so impossible to describe with words, but let me give it a shot.  First of all, this is one place where you absolutely have to be aware of what’s around you……in all directions.  You also have to be prepared for anything….and I mean, ANYTHING.

Here’s one example.  The roads are super narrow and there are cars parked at the side of the road.  So as I’m cycling towards one of these parked vehicles, I quickly have to look up ahead and if no oncoming traffic is there….I take to the middle of the road.  Why, you ask?  Well, if I don’t than any cars behind me will not even hesitate to pass….and in doing so block me from going forward, due to the parked car in my way.  For me, it’s called cycling……not stopping.  So I do what I can to stay one step ahead.

With potholes, wandering goats (and people), and so much more to deal with…..it’s a necessity to bring along your “Get Out of Jail Free Card” on each and every ride.  Even the most proactive cyclist gets caught up in a situation here from time to time.

What proactive methods do you put in place during your ride?

Enjoy Your Ride
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13 Responses to “ The Proactive Cyclist ”

  1. Shawn McAfee on October 25, 2013 at 10:52 am

    For me and mountain biking its all about planning ahead. Being confident that I have all the gear that I may need in case of a mechanical.

    Riding off-road I have the luxury of not having to worry much about traffic, but mechanicals and flats especially are far more common. I always keep my saddle bag on my bike filled with 4 items that are absolutely crucial in case of a problem. A spare tube, a multi-tool, a CO2 cartridge and adapter.

    And typically I’ll keep 5 or 10 bucks with me as well in case I need to bribe somebody to give me a lift or pick up some food mid-ride.

    More on the 4 tools I keep with me all the time here.
    http://www.texasmountainbiketrails.com/4-tools-you-need-on-every-ride/

    Stay safe out there Darryl!

    • Darryl is Loving the Bike on October 25, 2013 at 5:20 pm

      Thanks Shawn. Yeah, I wish there were more trails to ride here. If so, I just might become a real mountain biker. I’d love to take you out riding here so you can experience the insanity with me. Those Texas trails will feel even more tranquil after you do it.

      • Shawn McAfee on October 26, 2013 at 9:41 am

        Ha ha, We’re shooting for this coming year buddy. :)

      • Shawn McAfee on October 26, 2013 at 9:42 am

        BTW, you could always start cutting your own trails. :)

        • Darryl is Loving the Bike on October 26, 2013 at 12:02 pm

          I wish I could hire you to come cut trails….that would give me my visit with you and more trail riding all at the same time.

  2. Peter on October 23, 2013 at 5:54 pm

    Goats. I’ve never had to deal with goats before, but we certainly get plenty of cows and in particular kangaroos.

    We often get kangaroos on the road around a particular corner, early morning in the dark. Descending, so fast.

    Got to take that corner really carefully and look ahead as soon as you get around it. Good lights help too.

    We’ve had one person go down hitting a kangaroo and a friend of mine hit a wombat (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wombat) in the dark and took 3 others down with him.

    • Darryl is Loving the Bike on October 25, 2013 at 5:19 pm

      I’ve dealt with a lot of things on the road, but kangaroos is not one of them. Man, I really need to get over there to ride sometime.

  3. Joel Phillips on October 23, 2013 at 5:44 pm

    I am so lucky to live in a city with such a remarkable trail system.

    • Darryl is Loving the Bike on October 25, 2013 at 5:19 pm

      Yes, never take that for granted. I know people like to complain about cycling infrastructure in some cities…..but I think it is better than most people think.

  4. Ian on October 23, 2013 at 1:37 pm

    I’m always watching and listening. Being in a big city I need to anticipate all moves ahead of me and be ready for those behind. This includes the bike trails as well, as many use it as a walking/rollerblading path. For those that drive, do you remember the instructor saying ‘watch 2 cars ahead’? that’s the approach I use regardless of where I’m riding. I find it’s so second nature now that I rarely have to stop because I’ve anticipated and corrected for what is happening around me.

    • Darryl is Loving the Bike on October 23, 2013 at 5:04 pm

      Good idea….I like the two cars ahead approach. I think here I need the 4 cars ahead approach….seriously. Even though traffic moves slower here, the uncertainty of what people are going to do combined with the narrow roads and wild drivers makes it totally necessary to be completely proactive.

  5. Sarah on October 23, 2013 at 11:46 am

    My head is always, ALWAYS on a swivel! I’m mindful of sounds behind me completely at all times. It’s a scary place to ride sometimes….
    Sarah
    http://www.thinfluenced.com

    • Darryl is Loving the Bike on October 23, 2013 at 5:02 pm

      Yeah, it really can be……right now is the scariest conditions I’ve ever been in. My head has to be totally into it every second.

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