Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Lent Day 40 (Tuesday)

Exercise:  Cycling 26 miles.  It was cold out (my feet are still cold now!), but it felt good to be out there.

Joshua 23:9-13New International Version (NIV)9 “The Lord has driven out before you great and powerful nations; to this day no one has been able to withstand you. 10 One of you routs a thousand, because the Lord your God fights for you, just as he promised. 11 So be very careful to love the Lord your God.
12 “But if you turn away and ally yourselves with the survivors of these nations that remain among you and if you intermarry with them and associate with them, 13 then you may be sure that the Lord your God will no longer drive out these nations before you. Instead, they will become snares and traps for you, whips on your backs and thorns in your eyes, until you perish from this good land, which the Lord your God has given you.

Thoughts:  It felt great to get back on the bike today.  It was cold out (high around 50), and a bit windy, but it wasn't wet.  This is the last Tuesday before the weekly rides start up in earnest, so getting another run in beforehand was nice.  What I enjoyed is that I felt like no matter what group went by us, I could decide to hang on if I wanted to.  We caught up with a few groups, but I would let them go because the pace wasn't what everyone I was with could handle.  Just knowing that the effort I put in during the late fall and winter is paying off felt good.  

During the ride I had another chance to be reminded that I need to be careful and aware of how I act and how that impacts others.  In general I do okay in groups while on the bike, but some of that depends on the others around me.  As we were going through the country loop, this one rather large group of cyclists passed us, and we decided to hop on the back and just ride for a bit, seeing where they went.  It was a pretty fast paced group, and it was rather loosely held together.  We tried to mostly stay in the back, but on some of the rollers folks were falling off the back and generally not staying with the pack very well.  It was also obvious that not everyone in that pack was "with the group" (like we were not).  The country loop is a pretty well established (and marked) route, and most groups that run out there follow the same path for safety and familiarity reasons.  During the non-official rides this can definitely vary.  

We got to a stop sign, and whoever the primary group of riders was decided that they were turning off the established route. This left me, while being almost in the vary back, with a choice:  stay with the main pack, or stay on the established route.  The other person I was riding with, along with several others, split off from the pack, following the established route.  This all of the sudden made the decision not "do I stay with the pack", but rather "how do I leave the pack".  I tried to make sure my path was clear, and stay on the established route.  The problem was that I didn't notice that there were a few folks from the pack still behind me.  Luckily there was space and we didn't get into an incident, but my actions left me in a bad situation.  

  • I had joined up with a mass of cyclists where I didn't know where they were going.
  • I wasn't prepared to be a part of their "hive mind", and they decided to go off the established route at a point where I was not prepared to act.
  • I was not in a position in the group where I could safely leave the pack.
  • I left anyway.

These are not situations I normally get into, because I generally don't get that flustered while in a random pack of cyclists (nor do I find myself in a random pack of cyclists outside of established events).  That said, I need to make sure that the next time I'm in the middle of a group of cyclists I already know what I need to do to act, and make sure that I'm handling myself in a consistent and safe manner. 


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