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xcaferacer

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Reply with quote  #1 
So I played hooky and took Wednesday off from work. It was a sunny day, quite warm, but the sky was clear and the light perfect for photos.



Hastings, MN is a cyclist's dream. It has all sorts of trails, paved and dirt, gravel roads, and bike lanes on the major thoroughfares. You can ride beside the Mississippi River, and then up into the bluffs and forests, farm country, and even a sculpture garden that gets refreshed frequently.







Sounds like paradise, right? But of course, there's a dark side: If you venture out onto Hastings trails and don't obey every one of the Velominati's 95(!) rules, you may be attacked and harangued by the legendary Hastings Harpy.

I wasn't able to get a photograph of her, she moves too fast. Obviously retired, and dressed in competition lycra, the old girl patrols the trails on weekdays looking for victims who are not maintaining lane discipline, are dressed in regular clothes,  and/or her pet peeve: not wearing a plastic bowl on their heads! 

She swooped upon me as I was violating all of the above, while taking this photo, below:



She came sprinting up the hill, and in a voice like a rusty gate she screeched at me to "Get out of my lane!" - even though we were the only two people on the trail at that time. Then she stopped and asked me "Where's your helmet!?"

To which I replied "The same place it's been since I was 5 years old. I never wear one unless I'm racing, and I don't race anymore."

Then she started spewing statistics at me in that same creaky voice: "You know, studies show that 90% of bike accidents occur on trails! My friend (blah blah) broke several bones in her face when she collided with a rider coming from the opposite direction because she wasn't wearing a helmet."

I was getting tired of all her abuse, so I said, "I guess you have to be careful, then, don't you? How would a bowl on top of her head have saved her face, anyway?"

Well, at this point, she muttered something else and then rode away.



Shortly after this harrowing encounter, I came upon the guy in the tractor who sprays for weeds at the sides of the trail. He asked me if "That old b**** " had bothered me. - she had even screeched at him for being in her lane. We had a good laugh at her expense, and went our separate ways.



I headed to El Mexican for tacos before hanging the bike on the trunk rack and driving home. Here's one more beauty shot before I go:



.

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Rouler pour la joie, jamais pour la douleur.

USMC 1981-1991 Semper Fi!
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tallbikeman

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Reply with quote  #2 
Great 3 speed.  I especially like that rear rack.  Your bags are great also.  I'm having to rethink my handlebar/frame bag/seat bag thing because I'm now carrying my bicycles on a rear bike rack.  May have to go to racks and panniers.  I have spent most of my life not living up to the high expectations of others.  The high standards others would impose don't always pertain to me.   I do wear a helmet with a giant sunscreen called Da Brim, too many skin cancer incidents on my head.  I violate the racer codex by not wearing anything that doesn't have pockets or pedal clip on hardware.  I wear hardware store leather full finger work gloves.  Good sun protection and last 8 to 10 times what the bicycle gloves last. Recently I've noticed younger people using hardware store full fingered leather gloves for bicycling.  What is going on here?  Good common sense?  That is a cool curler artwork. IMG_1791.jpg Older Schwinn at play.
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