Saturday, August 14

Long Way Home

Not All that Wear These Hats are Good Guys
Perhaps it wasn't a good idea, but Friday I decided to take a different route home that's a few miles longer than usual, and which I'd never taken before. Friday the 13th. 106F temperature - perhaps the hottest day of the year. Yup, things are getting boring. It didn't start out too auspiciously when I got hit about a mile from work. It reminded me that not ALL motorists are MY motorists. A rare few are rednecks in white pickups who'd be better off somewhere away from people. I was waiting on Heritage at Westport for the traffic to clear so I could make a right turn west on Westport when a coke can hit my arm, thanks to said rednecks. I wasn't "in their way" since I was waiting for them to pass. They just saw a victim that couldn't do anything back. The passenger was wearing a staw cowboy hat; hence the photo at left. They probably live somewhere in Haslet or points west. "Hardy har har, we hit that guy on the bike." I did manage to restrain myself from any seriously dramatic gestures or language, which made me feel better later. I was also impressed that getting hit didn't hurt nearly so much as I'd imagined. Perhaps it would have been different had the can been full or if it'd hit my head instead of my left arm. I think it also helped that I was stopped at the time, waiting for the arterial traffic to pass. Ironically, had I been a little more aggressive about turning on to Westport with a smaller traffic gap, they'd have had a much harder time hitting me even had they been so inclined rather than focusing on passing me. I shall have to reflect on that policy, though I think, on balance, that waiting for larger traffic gaps increases the cyclist's overall safety margin.

Being now in a slightly warmer frame of mind, I turned right onto west bound Westport and rode along. Before long, I was wondering if maybe I shouldn't have turned left and I pulled into a gravel drive to look at my map. A truck pulled up and waited, so I moseyed off to the left side of the drive and the driver waved and pulled into the drive. Such trucks are common around Alliance, seeming to be connected with the ubiquitous gas drilling in the area. Every tanker driver I've seen has been scrupulously careful and polite, so I started to feel a bit sweeter, even though I had indeed missed my turn.

Friendly Truck Driver at Alliance

Rather than continuing on for who knows how long before I could make a U turn, I shouldered the bike and crossed the median. Soon I was back on track.

Oops! I Think I Should Have Made a Left Turn

This back route home from Alliance really had some long, straight stretches with not a whole lot going on other than a couple of houses and very light traffic. It gave me time to gain some perspective.

The LONG Way Home Seemed Even Longer with a Straight Chipseal Road Traffic was not Light, it was Virtually Nonexistent

Reaching the turn back towards civilization, I wondered just how civilized we all want to be. Fort Worth includes helpful signs to all the housing developments. I imagine they do this to cut down on all the myriad developer signs that would probably otherwise be stuck all over the place.

Development Directions at the Fort Worth City Boundary

Soon, I was back on my regular route and I noticed that the Keller Lions Club was getting close to opening their carnival. Not quite open, but maybe the kids will want to visit over the weekend.

Keller Lion's Club Carnival Setup at FM1709 and Cindy

By this time, all the ice had melted in my water bottle and the water was beginning to warm up more quickly, so I took the opportunity to stop and refresh my bottle with triple filtered ice water. While sipping some hot coffee, so as to not freeze while in the air conditioned shop, I noticed sweat dripping off my do rag. Temperature was down to 104F by that time. It WAS a nice long way home. I don't think I'll ride that way often, but a little variety DOES spice up the trip. By the time I'd gotten home, I'd almost completedly forgotten about the rednecks in the white pickup.

Sweat Drips From the Do Rag. The Price of Wearing a Helmet on a North Texas August Afternoon


Rat Trap Press said...

Did you happen to get his license plate number? Please let me know.

Steve A said...

No, I didn't get his license number. It took a couple of seconds before I realized what had happened, and by that time the pickup was too far down the road for any hope of getting it. One of my road skills that needs work is in getting license plate numbers quickly. While I don't have to do it for real very often, I think it'd be a useful skill and practicing does no harm.

Pondero said...

I've been the target for numerous hurlers over the years. Fortunately, not up here on the prairie. I'm a fairly mellow dude, but that stuff wakes up my sleeping bear. I'm glad it was not worse.

Chandra said...

Thank God you are okay!
Peace :)

paul (not doohickie) said...

I was a stupid kid once, too. I hope that the payback, that will surely come his way, will not be too harsh. Glad to hear it was only an empty aluminum can and that you didn't respond in kind. I'm not so sure I would be able to make the same claim.

Apertome said...

Glad it was just an empty can that hit you. I have had things thrown at me, but nothing ever hit me. I also applaud your restraint!

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