Sunday, November 23, 2008

NaBloPoMo - Entry 23

What the heck?

Yesterday was my city's annual bike race.

Over 9000 cyclists participated in yesterday's race. They start around 7am for the full race. They let riders continue until 6:30pm. Why so long? Because the full race course is a 109 mile loop. Yes. One HUGE loop around the city. There are several other start areas so that folks have the option to ride smaller increments. There are 80 mile, 67 mile, 35 mile start lines on the loop. Cool right?

Since it's not a repeat loop that you go around a few times, you have to plan for this one. In the morning it's around 50 degrees. Chilly cold. But it can get up towards 80 degrees. Racers have to layer efficiently so they can easily strip items off.

And you'd think that since we're in the desert that it would be a flat course. so much. While there are flat sections, there are also roads made in a wavy pattern to ensure that rainwater flows to existing washes and into dirt and concrete lined riverbeds. There's even a section where riders go through dirt roads. Yes. Seriously. Look at a few photos from yesterday's race.

Yesterday was a beautiful day for the race. And because we had a windy day yesterday? It blew out any extra pollution we may have had out of the air. Beautiful!

But there was a disturbing event yesterday. A man actually made a left turn and ran into a group of 10 cyclists. He ran them over, got out of his car to check what happened, and then got back into his vehicle and took off. Yes. A hit-and-run! Can you believe it? They did get a brief description of the man out. Elderly. About 6 feet tall and 190 lbs. He drove a gold or silver Toyota or Honda that had major damage to the front right side. Five of the cyclists were injured with one rider listed in critical condition.I can't believe the man actually stopped and looked at the people on the ground and drove off. I hope they catch the guy soon. It boggles my mind that he thinks that he can just take off like that.

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