Monday, April 28, 2014

What Will It Take?

Fact or fiction? Is it true or just a myth? I don't know enough about dog racing to know whether this popularly held belief is factual or not: If the greyhounds ever catch the rabbit-like lure they chase, they will realize their efforts are meaningless and thereafter lose all enthusiasm for the race itself. Are the sleek canines smart enough to get it once they understand there is no real prize waiting if the expenditure of all their energy ends with a catch? Or will they stupidly continue to exhaust themselves in pointless pursuit?

Rounding the Paris Ave. Circle

On Sunday's Giro, this question came to mind each time the 30 or so cyclists on road bikes would doggedly (no pun intended) set off in chase of Rob on a TT bike most people couldn't ride without falling over the handlebars.

My goals in riding the Giro are to burn calories, to maintain a modicum of fitness, and to simply survive to ride's end. Of course, these modest purposes are quite different than what drives other participants who are preparing for racing season, or maybe just think the rabbit is real. Anyway, Rob's attacks encouraged others and it made for a hectic, exhausting ride in a gusty south wind. As we neared Hwy. 11, a few riders got far enough off the front that I thought the group would let well enough alone, but there must have been something in the air, maybe the smell of freshly road-killed rabbit, because people weren't in the mood for just sitting in and enjoying the ride. Several times Big Scott tried to bridge up. Then I'd see him going backwards, and figured he was done. A little while later, here he'd come, up the side of the paceline and off the front in pursuit. HL called him feisty. And then I saw visiting cyclist Seattle Mike bound off in an attempt to bridge across a two-hundred-meter gap. He eventually returned to the chase group, but his effort excited the chasers such that on the final straight away near Venetian Isles, the group split into several pieces.

Coming home on Hwy. 90 the pace was a bit calmer until things started ramping up for the Chevron sprint. Crossing the intersection at Little Vietnam it was made clear to me that nothing, absolutely nothing, not even several young Atlanta girls being rendered fatherless by a senseless accident, will ever make the Giro abide traffic laws, or exhibit simple common sense. How can a group of thinking, sensate beings, with knowledge of what so recently happened on that very highway, make the unthinking, unfeeling (unconscious?) decision to place their lives in the hands of an unknown, unseen driver in a silver van, who had the unquestionable right of way and who, with even the most fleeting moment of inattention, would definitely have killed someone?

Fixing Flat on Lake Forest Blvd.

When all investigations and trials are ended, the firefighter from Georgia may be found to have been totally free from fault in his untimely demise. But there is one thing that is as certain as tomorrow's sunrise: If a cyclist had been killed yesterday at Alcee Fortier Blvd. and Chef Menteur Hwy., it would have been the dead cyclist's fault. And it would have been the fault of each surviving cyclist who decided to blithely proceed at speed through a red light and across the path of a rapidly approaching van. It would have been my fault.

Waiting on Flats

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1 comment:

  1. "What Will It Take?"
    To answer you blog question David, another dead cyclist. Not killed by a distracted driver in a vehicle but a cyclist running a red light on Chef.Hwy or Hayne Blvd in front of a car that has the right-of-way and other motorists who see the stupidity every weekend.