Wednesday, December 1, 2010

I hate being the rabbit - November 30, 2010

I have on occasion traded leads with another rider on my morning commute.  As far as I can tell he comes out of Bothell somewhere and rides to the far south end of Kirkland.  In the past I have chased him down as the rabbit and he has caught me.  From experience this only happens if a small difference in distance exists in the first place as we seem to be fairly evenly matched.

In other words, he is fast.  He pulls hard on flats and climbs well.  I have had to work to catch him and when he has caught me I can't shake him, but I hadn't seen him for a number of months and figured that maybe he hung up his bike for the season.  I was wrong.

Leaving Bothell I spied a rider about a mile away at the top of the hill separating Bothell from Kirkland.  Ah-ha!  A rabbit; and if they didn't turn, one that would take me awhile to catch, so I increased my effort and pushed hard across the short flat before charging up the hill.  As I crested the hill, I looked down the road for the telltale flashing tail light of the rider ahead.  Nothing.

I figured they must have turned or something, so I kept on moving.  A couple of blocks later, I found my rabbit fixing a flat tire.  I checked quickly to see if they were good on my way by (still not recognizing the person at this point) and after a thumbs up continued to battle the wind and rain.

With my rabbit supposedly far behind, I dropped my effort, stopped for a few lights, climbed over Market Street and dropped into Kirkland.  I glanced back and saw a headlamp heading my direction, so once I pulled on to the flat by the lake, jumped up my effort.  The problem with my single speed is a lack of gears.  Even into a slight wind, I managed to max out my spin, which I know puts me at about 20 mph.  At this time of year with almost any other rider, I would have managed to not only stay ahead, but pull away. 

Just over halfway there I got a glimpse of the chasing bike on my wheel and moved over to let them by.  It was then that I recognized my friendly foe by his peculiar pedal stroke, on his multi-geared winter bike.  Damn!  I steadily lost ground to him before his turn as our top speeds differed so greatly.  So this morning I was the rabbit, confirmed when the fuzzy sort jumped out in front of me as I headed down the path right before work.

No comments:

Post a Comment