Maybe it’s my experience with two crashes in the last three months, but on the road lately, I seem to be a less aggressive rider than I used to be.

The other day, I was doing my weekly ride on the Veloway. It’s got some nice sections with tight curves — curves that invite you to stomp on the pedals and lean hard into the turn. I always look forward to those, especially a right-left-right combo near the end of the loop. I get down in the drops, and always check my cyclocomputer to see if I’ve hit my goal of 22 mph through the esses.

This time, I didn’t even come close. I did 18 mph on the first lap. Wow. I chalked it up to a warmup lap, and figured it would get better. The second time through, I hit 20 mph. That’s still off my goal.

I noticed that the line I took through the curves both times was wider than the one I follow when I’m really “on.” Why would that be?

Well, it’s been foggy the last few mornings, and that left the road surface damp. But it’s only really iffy at the approach to the hill I’ve mentioned in the past — the one where I lost control and crashed last month. A puddle collects right at the base of the hill, right on my line. So I’m going to go slower through there in any case, until it’s acceptably dry.

The esses don’t have that problem. They were damp, but not wet. I made a point of concentrating on the line the third time through. But by now, the light mist that accompanied the fog had turned to drizzle. I picked up a little speed — 21 mph — but cut my ride short and headed for home.

I guess I’m just out of practice. The amount of riding I’m doing has suffered lately because of cooler weather and demands at work. I know that more frequent riding will get me back into the feel of the bike. Now that we’re into the year-end break, I’ll get out there more often — I hope.


  1. says

    I can identify with this very very well.

    Before that, while out in Colorado, I was zipping down the mountains, leaning deep into curves at 30 to 35mph and loving every joyous second of it.

    Since those three crashes, I’ve noticed that I’m much more cautious, even, dare I say, in bone dry conditions. The first was sort of a badge of honor. I didn’t mind the pain. But the second and third were each more trouble than they were worth. Fortunately, I didn’t do any permanent damage.

    The point is, I don’t blame you at all for dropping the speed a little. In fact, I understand completely. There’s nothing wrong with backing off the aggressiveness now and again.

    Just keep riding.

  2. rainycamp says

    Dave, it looks like your three crashes were more adventuresome than my two. With any luck, I won’t match you crash for crash.

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