Monday, December 27, 2010

Palm Springs Not in Love with Cyclists

It is a beautiful thing to leave Wisconsin to ride in 65 degree weather in Palm Springs California.

But many residents here don't seem to share the good feelings!

The total exception was Mike and another guy at Palm Springs Cyclery. Great shop who offered a lot of help in choosing a route. Mike, by the way, is moving up to Milwaukee with his wife, who has a business up in the tundra land. We chatted about places to live, bike shops. Good guys. Also Evan at Big Wheel Bikes, who brought the rental bikes to us, has his act together.

I set off to attempt to conquer the Palm Springs Tram road, a steep 3 mile climb averaging between 5 and 8 percent. A lot of climbing for January. And the road surface was a bit sketchy. I love going up, but am not as fond of coming down, especially with a lot of traffic on a steep descent!

I made it to a mile to go and turned around because it was getting stupid cold. Hello? I left Wisconsin to ride in the heat! On the way down, I exceeded the speed limit yet cars still backed up behind me for all of three minutes.

At the bottom, an older man in a white cadillac had pulled over to the side. To my knowledge, he wasn't behind me on the descent. I rode around him, and he leaned out of his window. "You're an asshole," he told me.


"Fuck you," he said. I responded in a different way, and he kept on flipping me off. I have NO IDEA what I did to him.

As this kind gentlemen drove off in a huff, another man in a van with kids inside told me I wasn't a vehicle and get the hell off the road. This kind Californian was, I think, behind me.

Several other drivers, on wide roads, felt compelled to drive their cars within inches of me.

Seriously? You gotta a problem with me? Do you?

Or are you just jealous of how good I look in spandex...

I'll try again tomorrow. Point the bike and ride. See where I end up.