Sunday, November 16, 2008

To ride solo or not to

With a couple more days of freedom before entering the office all day zone, I invited a super Strong, Light and Beautiful fellow rider to go meet a new path and trail on the over 70° day we had on Friday. One of my reasons for the introduction was to show there were highly public areas - not in the said "boon-docks" that one can practice their skills, and ride knowing if they needed help or to walk back to a road - here was the optimal path.

Vasona Creek Trail from Los Gatos to Campbell and back. We took about 2 hours to go about 13 or 14 miles and play on the off road. Pieces of single track and fireroad occasionally break up the perfect path, complete with pedestrian traffic painted lines to be sure and keep walkers, strollers and roller bladers and cyclists living together peacefully. You stay on the right side, let folks know you are coming on their left - and keep speeds slow.

Our discussion led to the common one I find, and why I try to host and promote ladies finding other ladies (or men) to ride with. We both agreed we were not afraid of wildlife, but of crazy humans. I have decided myself, to go on trails like this, and not let my freedom be taken by those incidents that have occured. I look about, staying noticeable and looking for ways to escape or find help if needed as I go. (This is a lot like a private pilot, when flying you always look for where you would land if your engine blew that second). This creek trail has a less used side nearer Hwy 17, across the creek from the main ponds/fly casting and dog park areas. I would recommend to go onto that more remote side w/ a buddy, as we did. This is the albatross we women have to wear about our necks, as even though we may be STRONG as our SLaB motto promotes, crazy bad guys out there may be able to overpower etc, yada yuk yada. With that said, I ride smart. Familiar places where I know lots of hikers or fellow riders will pass by again soon, so I can yell for help if needed.

I just refuse to stop riding alone altogether, but choose my times and places. Often we get pressures from our loved ones, spouses, parents - to not even go there. Here is what I say - to not be paralyzed and to still assure your loved ones. Consider a compromise, maybe if you promise to check in every 30 min to an hour and plot your exact path. Perhaps a dog to accompany. Always carry your cell phone. Stay in wide open spaces if possible. Do a shorter route closer to home, and do 2 laps. I love that trick!

If anybody has advice to share on the subject of riding alone - please share!
In the mean time, let's get a network going on +3 Network, and invite buddies to ride with you. The buddy system is always best. But sometimes to clear one's head, that solo ride can't be beat!

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