11/17/07

Acting on instincts....

I've been riding almost every afternoon, usually around 4 or 5pm. My typical ride is 10-20 miles and maybe I'll squeeze in some random intervals. I really enjoy the change of weather and I'm loving just spinning my legs as the sun goes down and the cool air makes my fingers cold. Swimming is going really well and I'm swimming about 2000-3500 yards 4-5 times per week. Tues and Thurs are the hard days since Coach Matt Hess gives me some hard workouts at the Y (and we swim outdoors..burr, quick run and jump in the heated pool).
Sometimes I'll ride to the Gearlink store and visit Karel. Usually a quick high and bye but at least I catch him before he goes for his evening ride. On friday I was feeling super tired but I needed to ride to the Gearlink store to pick up Karel's car (he was starting his evening workout from work and then riding to clearwater beach and then home). Once i got outside I was happy I got my butt away from the computer and I ended up riding 20 miles before I started heading to the shop (which is only 5 miles from our place). As I was heading back towards Dunedin I was stopped at the Curlew Road intersection waiting for the Walk signal. I saw an old lady across the street and once the light turned green for the traffic to make a left turn the lady across the street starting walking towards me. I couldn't believe she was about to walk into oncoming traffic. She had a cane and wasn't moving very fast and I lifted up my hands for her to stop but for some reason no words came out of my mouth. I was thinking "STOP STOP STOP" but my brain didn't tell me to shout. The lady was fine and the first car to turn stopped and let her cross. Of course the other cars (who had no idea what was going on) were honking. I was just thankful that the lady was ok. As I was riding to Gearlink, I kept thinking of the lady and if the car didn't stop. Why didn't I act out loud. I guess I assumed she would stop. I always assume people don't see cyclists/runners and I'm the person who will ALWAYS raise my hand to let cars know I am about to cross infront of their car. I am not one to feel embarassed and I blame myself that I didn't yell at the lady to stop. I was a couple miles from the shop and I was enjoying the end of my ride when i saw 5-6 young boys (8-9yrs.) playing with a black cat. I have seen vidoes and heard stories of kids/teenagers terrorizing animals and it doesn't matter what kind of animal (squirrel or cat) I have a big heart for all animals. After the last episode of not acting on an instinct I made a quick u-turn on my bike and went up the the kids. I asked them if that was their cat that they were holding in the air (almost like they were making it dance on a railing) and they said no. I told them to drop the cat immediatly and then I gave them a quick lecture. I told them that they could get in big trouble with the police and their parents and that animals have feelings just like humans. Well, they apologized a few times and after they walked away I went over to the cat who was sitting by a building. The cat wasn't afraid of me and I was worried after what it went through that it would run away. I picked up the cat and luckily there was a collar on it with a phone number. Happy ending, the lady came and got her cat and it is now back at home. Although I felt really good about my good deed, I felt better about the lady that this time I acting on my instinct. I'm all about helping people who are need and perhaps next time I'm riding on the pinellas trail and I see someone with a flat tire I will forget about my planned workout and take some time to help someone who I may assume doesn't need me to help. For all I know, I've struggled with changing flats on my small 650 wheels and I've had the kindess people help me out.
have a great weekend everyone! For those participating in the diabetes ride in dunedin on sun, have a great time! Karel and I are heading to clermont this afternoon for the Horrible Hundred ride in the hills of Clermont. I'm doing 72 miles and karel will be doing 100 miles. I figured if I did 28 less miles than him he wouldn't have to wait for me as long at the finish :)