Sunday, May 29, 2011

Outer Banks Riding Hazards

The OBX are a great place to ride your bike!   There are, however, some specific hazards that you need to be aware of!   I went for a nice two hour ride today and encountered four of them......

Hazard 1.   Do all assholes live in Virginia?

I started my ride by heading south to the Oregon Inlet Fishing Center and I have to give the NC,DOT credit for doing a really nice job of re-surfacing the road and making it significantly wider.  Where they have completed the marking there is a very nice wide shoulder to ride on.  South of the Beach Road intersection, however, they haven't yet completed the marking.....

I kept well to the right and, in general, the drivers were very respectful and gave me plenty of room.  There were, however, no less that three complete assholes who appeared to deliberately "buzz me" - presumably for kicks.   In all three cases the vehicle was a jacked-up truck with over-sized wheels that looked something like this:

and in all three cases they were driven by yound guys and had Virginia plates.   As if that wasn't enough, when approaching the turn off for the Bodie Island camp ground on my way north, a mini van sped by me before jamming on its brakes, turning right in front of me and stopping right across my path, causing me to have to slam my brakes on and swerve around him.   Surprise, surprise, another Virginia plate!  What is the matter with these idiots?

Hazard 2.  The wind

It's almost always windy here, but some days are worse than others.  Today there was a strong (but warm) wind from the south.  Any time that you ride hard and average about 15 mph in one direction before turning around and riding easily and averaging about 25 mph in the other direction you know that it's windy!   It was also "blustery" today - a good excuse to work on handling skills!

Hazard 3.  Green Plastic Monsters....

Yep!   They are everywhere down here!   Here's a picture that I snapped today.....

This one is behaving itself reasonably well, but many of its siblings like nothing better than to jut out a few feet into the road or to take up half of the bike path.   You need to be particularly careful when riding in the aero position and to keep an eye on what's ahead of you.  I haven't hit one yet, but I've been close a few times!

Hazard 4.  (OK, this one is self-induced)  Sun Screen!

Having got my fair share of sun yesterday, I thought it prudent to apply sun screen  before I headed out today.  Note to self:  don't put sun screen on your forehead before riding!   All was fine for a while, but once I started to sweat a little it started to drip down into my eyes and stung like crazy!   I spent a good part of the ride continuously wiping my eyes so that I could see where I was going.  Lesson learned!

Despite the hazards, a really nice ride!

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