I’m not as fast as you…

Sometimes I feel like a fake, and it bothers me more than it should.

To start off with, I’m pretty slow compared to a lot of people, I average anywhere from 10-14mph depending on the day. I’m in a facebook cycling group and people are often bragging about how fast they are and how far they go, and while it shouldn’t bother me it does. It makes me feel like a “fake” cyclist because, I don’t put in big miles every week, I don’t ride as fast or as far as many, and I don’t follow all the “rules“.

Today though, I saw this meme today and it really hit me. As long as I’m giving 100% it doesn’t matter if I’m going 10mph or 30mph! It doesn’t matter if I’m riding 1 mile or 200 miles! It doesn’t matter what bike I ride, how it looks, or even that I have a kickstand(yeah I’ve actually been harassed for having one in that group). The only thing that matters is that I am giving my all, and whatever your all looks like, that’s perfectly all right!

Keep On Rolling,

Big Boned Biker

Meme by WheelBrothers.com

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Health and Safety Thomas!

Hey howdy hey!

Since my last update, things have been going great bike wise! Have picked up a 137 miles since, and have done a couple of trips out to hazel green WI. Katrina has been running great, and been trying out some new lube as well for her. It is called Rock N’ Roll Gold, and what I like about it so far is that it also cleans as it lubes, which should extend my chain life. Rock-N-Roll Gold Chain Lube, 4oz If you decide to purchase it please use this link, as it will help fund my bike tour!

Lets talk about safety, because the other day I was almost killed. I was coming back from one of my Hazel Green ride, and needed to turn around to grab something. It was a highway stretch and I easily was able to get into the other lane and back track. I need to make a left hand turn, so I signal for about 10 seconds before hand. No cars from the other lane, and two behind me, so I make my turn. WOOSH! The white car from behind me comes within an inch of side swiping me! The “friendly driver” had decided to pass me on the left….as I made a left hand turn. I heard him speed up as soon as the incident happened, most likely so I would not get his plates. UGH! After the instance of my bike light being run over on purpose, it really makes me start to hate some drivers. You realize just how easy it is to get hurt/killed by someones stupid mistakes. In a car you have 2 tons of vehicle to take some of the blow, but on a bike there is nothing except your bones(no matter how big those bones may be).

So, what can we do for safety on our bikes? Well lets go through some ideas, and maybe you will even come up with some more! Lets start off with bike lights/blinkers, important for daytime as well as nighttime use. I have been told that by using a rear blinking light it makes you 10x more visible to drivers, since we are attracted to movement of the lights. I have even seen some folks wear one on their helmets like this Nite Ize Helmet Marker Plus, Red. Also, it is a good idea to use a front blinking light, just like a cars daytime running lights, it increases visibility. I do not think you can be to visible to others on the road!

Clothing, not just to keep you from charges of public nudity! We won’t get into types of clothing to wear, but as common sense would tell you bright colors are always a better option. I have even been tempted to pick up a reflective vest like construction workers wear. Would I look goofy? Yup! Do I care? Nope! I would rather look goofy be alive than fashionable at my funeral. Though, I was wearing a giant 5xl yellow jersey and that other car still decided to be stupid. I wish you could fix stupid…

Do you wear a helmet? WHY NOT?!? Single most important item you carry on your bike is your helmet. You can live without an arm or leg, but trying going to work with out your brain..though some places I have worked that might get you a promotion. I know some folks don’t like to wear them because of looks, but there are many options available. I just found these the other day, and if my current helmet needs replacing, will most likely be what I get Nutcase Air Mail Matte Bike Helmet, Small/Medium(in my size of course). The brand is called NutCase and seems like they had me in mind when they named it. Remember though, that helmets are one time use, if you fall or get hit and the foam is compressed you need to replace it

One final safety advice….use your head! Nobody will care more about your safety than you will. Most folks get in the most trouble when they get to cocky and start doing stupid things like weaving through traffic. I take the same attitude that I do when I drive a car, I assume that every other car is being driven by an idiot, that way when they do something silly I will be expecting it.

My new panniers by the way get a big A+! Rode in my first rainstorm ever yesterday, and my stuff stayed dried. However, I found out that my bar ends, and even my grips get REALLY slick in the rain. I think I will need to wrap my bar ends with some cork tape to give it a bit more grip.

I am still working on saving up money for my bicycle tour with a fellow stay at home dad. If you would like to donate please visit http://www.GoFundMe.com/BigBonedBiker every dollar helps greatly. Anything raised above cost will be donated to the local food pantry, to help those in need.

Keep on rolling!

Big Boned Biker