Monday, July 19, 2010

Is there a sign on my back?

If so, I think I know EXACTLY what it says:

"If you see me working my butt off,
biking up some really steep hill,
working within 90-95% of my maximum HR,
out of my comfort zone,
not able to talk,
focusing on the road and my cadence ....

p.s. Don't think anything of interrupting and basically screwing up the most challenging and best part of my ride, so make sure I'm at the steepest part of the climb so that I have to stop and lose my focus and momentum."

What is UP with that? Could they not see that I was in the middle of something that was requiring a lot of mental focus and physical effort?

Today wasn't the first time this happened to me, either. I just don't get why this has happened to me once, let alone twice. I'm telling you, I have NEVER seen a motorist stop a cyclist while they were biking to ask them for directions. EVER. Think about it... have you ever witnessed such a thing? Am I wrong in thinking this is absurd? It's like flagging down a car coming in the opposite direction to ask for directions. You just don't do that. Unless you're in the middle of nowhere, I suppose. But this is New Jersey people. It's jam packed with people. OTHER people besides the cyclist in her zone. Go ask someone else.

So why has this happened to me TWICE in the last month or so? Is it because I don't wear an "official" bike jersey with all the blocks of color and writing on them? I'm wearing athletic clothing and definitely conveyed that I was in serious ride mode. I was clearly not on a leisurely ride.

I thought the first time a motorist stopped me for directions earlier this summer was a fluke. I remember coming home and complaining about it to my husband, thinking "Can you believe that motorist stopped me on the climb for directions? Who does that?"

So today, when I saw this car coming towards me in oncoming lane and start to slow down, I thought, "No way. Not again. You are NOT going to stop me and ask for directions." So I focused even more so on just me and the road. I figured if I acted like they're not stopping, they wouldn't. They stopped.

The motorist called out, "Excuse me? Miss?" and for a few seconds, I kept going even though it was clear this motorist was stopping to ask for directions. I came so close to saying, "Sorry, I can't stop, I'm in the middle of training." Okay, so I'm not training per se, but I mean, I'm climbing a mountain on a bike. There's no way what I was doing looked easy. One would think one wouldn't want to interrupt me.

The only thing I could think of was that there must be a sign on my back.

Apparently on my front, too. :S

Moral of the story: DON'T INTERRUPT ME WHEN I'M IN THE ZONE. Thank you.

Otherwise, I'm usually nice to strangers and helpful with giving directions if asked. Really. :D

The last week has been busy and a tad stressful, hence the desire to rant about something, I suppose. Nothing too major, just busy with a lot of goings on with the husband, kids, father-in-law and pets. Vacation is coming soon, though, so I'm looking forward to some quality time with my husband and daughters, exploring someplace new and recharging my batteries. :)

How are you?

I really do want to know! Got any rants of your own this week?


  1. Oh, ugh. That would be enough to make me... well... stop exercising. LOL - it doesn't take a lot *g*.

    No rants that anyone wants to hear - I did my ranting last week.

    Whatcha doing for vacation? Inquiring minds and all...

  2. All I can say is that some people are just plain obtuse! Here's wishing you zero interruption from now on. :)

  3. No rants for me.. but I absolutely LOVED yours!!

  4. I know exactly what you mean, instead of being on a bike, I'm trying to get to the office and got 5 minutes to get there before I'm asked for directions and knowing it will take 10 minutes to point tourists on the right path.

    My rant is the temperature we're having right now.

  5. Sweetie, this is America. We're every one of us entitled to whatever we want whenever we want it. At least, that seems to be the mentality at times. I'm sorry folks are bothering you at those crucial times. Did you keep on going? Next time just go, man. Just. Go.

    Down South, we get out at a gas station and ask directions. I couldn't imagine, actually, interrupting, say, a person jogging. Unless they were the only person I'd seen for miles or hours, but that also sounds a little horror-movie-ish. OK, giving myself creeps now. Ha!

  6. LORI: LOL!!! It's so hard to find the time and focus to work out hard as it is, so I tend to get very annoyed when something throws me off. Did I miss a rant? I need to visit your blog and find out!! Yours are always more interesting than mine! ;)

    We're going to the Pacific Northwest, starting in Portland then working out way up to Seattle then to Vancouver, Canada. We'll be doing some hiking in the National Parks and sightseeing in the cities. I'm very excited about it.. although I'm a bit stressed getting everything squared away at home before we leave.

    JACE: YES! "Obtuse" is just the right word for this!!!

    GINA: Ha! Isn't it funny how we love other people's rants? I think it helps us feel like the world isn't just ganging up on us alone. That and that we all have issues that drive us nuts!

    DRU: Oh those tourists!! I think some people just naturally have an approachable look to them. I think I'm one of those people and you probably are, too. Even with a bike helmet and sunglasses on and no eye contact ... people just KNOW I'm approachable. It must be a vibe.

    KMONT: I did hesitate and sort of ignore his first plea, but he was determined to make me stop. "Miss, miss!" I saw from his surprise on his face that he was thinking something along the lines of "Helloooo? I'm talking to you! Why are you not stopping?" So I stopped. Grrr.

    Keep cool, Dru!

    KMONT: Up North we get out at a gas station to ask for directions, too. OR better yet, we use a GPS / iPhone. {is spoiled} But you're right... you only stop another moving car, bicycle or jogger if there is NO ONE ELSE AROUND FOR MILES OR HOURS. This was at 10:45 am or so.. plenty of people out and about at that time of day. Common sense, I'd think. Oh well. What are the odds of it happening a third time, right?

  7. Next time (should this aberration repeat itself), for the love of your bike, do not stop, Christine!

    And I think Kmont got it: it's that sense of entitlement, makes them blind to what the other person is doing--after all, they need something and it's all about them.

  8. I'm sure you guys are going to have a wonderful time during your vacation, which sounds just fabulous!

    Oh, and...

    In one of those synchronicity things, my eldest brother and his wife are celebrating their 50th birthday and their 25th wedding anniversary by going on a two week tour of some national parks with their three grown children (well, okay, 18 to 23 years old--still grown, right?)

    They started in Salt Lake City and meander around, sleeping in tents and the like--the crazy people!

  9. AZTECLADY: I think you and KMont are right and that people (maybe Americans, in particular), have this sense of I want what I want when I want it, and I deserve it.

    I think I will keep going next time and say "Sorry. Can't stop." Ha! See if they can catch me up that hill! ^_^

    Thanks for the vacation wishes! And birthday and anniversary wishes to your brother and wife! What a fantastic way to celebrate!!! And yes... I would say 18 to 23 is grown. Out of high school is my mental cut off for being "grown" although they definitely "grow" more after that, albeit not physically, right?

    We are big fans of National Parks. We did the Utah version in 2005 and it was probably one of the best vacations of my life. We also started out in Salt Lake City and meandered down to the Grand Canyon and then flew home from Las Vegas. We included some State Parks, too... what a magnificent land. We did the hotel route, though. I'd consider camping if I were staying in one park for the trip, but not for park hopping. Setting up and breaking up camp over and over? Ugh.

    This was our Utah Park hopping itinerary:

    Antelope State Park {at Great Salt Lake}
    Arches National Park
    Kodichrome Basin State Park
    Bryce Canyon National Park
    Zion National Park
    Grand Canyon National Park

    I would LOVE to go back to these someday.

    In the meantime, I'm looking forward to seeing what the PNW has going on! =)

  10. Have fun on your vacation, Christine! You totally deserve it and it's going to be sooo fun!! :D

    I'm sorry about being interrupted and getting out of your zone. I'll remember not to do it if I ever visit you :P

    By the way, I see that you're reading A Fantasy Medley... is there a kelley Armstrong story in it?

  11. NATH: Thanks! This is our first vacation in four years, and the first time in 3.5 years that we're relinquishing care of my elderly father-in-law for more than 4-5 hours. After 24-7-365 times 3.5... we need this sooooo badly!

    Ha ha! You won't need to interrupt me in my zone if you ever came to visit, because YOU'D be in your zone, too! : )

    Yes, there is a short story (very short) in A Fantasy Medley by Kelley Armstrong. It is titled "Zen and Art of Vampirism" and is about a vampire named Zoe Takano who is the only vampire in Toronto. Two interlopers threaten to take over her territory. It's VERY short at 32 pages. If you want to read it, I suggest borrowing it from the library OR letting me read it to you over the phone. LOLOL!

    I'm in the middle of the second story which is by Kate Elliot and it's pretty good. Unfortunately I think I have to return it to the library before I'm finished with the book, because it's due while I'm away and I have no more renewals left on it. I'll borrow it again when I get back, I guess.

  12. This seemed crazy to me that I asked my cyclist husband. This is exactly what the conversation was like:

    Me: Have you ever been interrupted in the middle of a climb on your bike by a motorist asking for directions?
    Him: YES!
    Me: Really?!
    Him: That happened a few weeks ago actually - and I felt kinda guilty because I did NOT stop haha
    Me: Ohh. Excellent.
    Him: I was like, wtf, just because I'm on a bike it means I'm not busy? Hell no lady, I got places to be!

    Moral of the story - I think you should keep going and ignore them.

  13. JANICU: HA! Validation! I'm definitely not stopping next time! ... I hope I can do it. Sometimes I'm too nice for my own good. :/

  14. OMGosh, I'm sorry Christine! To be working your a$$ off to get up the hill and be stopped like that! I live in a town called Redlands, and every year they host the Redlands Bike classic in April and there are bike teams all over the place for weeks before and after, we just leave them be. I watch them ride up the hill that I'm walking and huffing and puffing with, so I sure don't wanna bother them with even a hi.

    Thanks for the recipe! I'll let you know how juicing the pomi went when I do this in the fall ;)

    Tomes Devotee

  15. PAULA: Oooo! Now that's a group bike ride! I want to do some bike ride at some point. In fact, I just got something in the mail for the NYC Century ride this September. The most I've done on one ride is 33 miles or so... but I'm temped to try this 100 miles through the boroughs of NYC! How cool does that sound?

    I can't wait to hear about your pomi harvest! I hope you post a lot of photos! :)

  16. See this is why I don't workout outside its pointless. LOL

    I'm sorry to hear that my only rant is when one is working out to Insanity at home sweating like nasty and the maintence man wants to pop in to fix something that could've waited when he saw you open the door red face and well nasty...

    Other than that I got nothing!

  17. I say you buy a shirt just for cycling that says "Bug Off". *G* I can't believe someone stopped you! Wishing you peace and calm.

    As for a current rant? How about the fact that for the second time this month I took the kids to their MA class tonight and the teacher had a family issue, but no one could be bothered to let me know? So we showed up and then had to turn around and go home. Nah, don't mind me. I don't mind the fact that I traveled 35 minutes through horrendous traffic just to make it? After an already busy day. *sigh*

    Hope your tomorrow is a better day!

  18. My guess is, even half way up a very steep hill and concentrating very hard, you look approachable. You need a t-shirt that states you bite when approached and asked for directions! *grin*

    I hope you have a lovely vacation!

    As for me, no rants...unless you count my current rant on my blog about renovations :)

  19. Hi Christine!!!*waves* I haven't stopped by in a while. LOL your post had me laughing so hard :) No rants from this side of the blogsphere. Good to hear vaca is coming up for you, have fun!!!

  20. What the heck are some people thinking? I guess they just aren't. So sorry. Maybe wear a sign that says: No directions given while exercising. lol

  21. Just keep right on cycling Christine... Man some people are so very dense... :(

    You have an absolutely wonderful holiday! Vancouver is usually beautiful this time of year.

    I hope things settle down for you..


  22. Oh my dear Christine, have a great vacation!

    Get a T-Shirt! One of those great T-shirts telling people you don't stop for rude motorists! Gah... who does that?! Self-centered... so and sos... rant away.

  23. Chris
    Great rant Chris. You need a t-shirt that says "what do think 'on a roll' means"!!!

    Hve a wonderful holiday. You deserve it. Being a caregiver is an angel's job.

  24. Christine, LOL, that's not a bad idea :D contact me after you're back! LOL!


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