Peace of Mind . . . sort of . . . maybe

After my accident, I was excited to get back to my bike. I thought. I have written about how the effects of my crash affected my descending. Now, traffic has become more and more of an issue. It is actually difficult for me to enjoy a ride when the amount of vehicles picks up or I have to transition onto a busy street. Will the next car take me out? Good gosh, that was close! I am over as far as I can go! Please give me some room. I thought the way to combat this was to ride more. It worsened. I found myself seeking the solace of state parks and gravel roads. Accumulating my normal amount of miles (hours) per week on the aforementioned roads was not cutting it. Yes, group rides are good for traffic and knocking the rust off of my racing edge, but specific training (hill repeats, intervals, tempo, etc.) must be done alone.

I talked about the problem with my wife. Since my accident, she is just as fearful, or maybe more so, of my being hit. I wanted to be honest with her and hear what she had to say. I did not want to quit riding, nor did I want to settle for riding a beach cruiser around my neighborhood or a state park for the rest of my life either. As we talked about it, I brought up the Garmin Varia. I had a little blinking taillight on my bike, but this was different. Using radar from the taillight, the Varia alerts a rider on vehicles approaching from the rear, how many and if they are overtaking you at a high-rate of speed. The taillight is not cheap, but if it does what it says it will do it would be worth the money. My wife and I decided to order it.

It came in a couple of days. I read all of the material and watched some YouTube videos to get started with the basics. There are different modes, such as daylight, night, flashing, solid, pulse, etc., so I went with the flashing daylight mode. The mount is very solid and conforms to many different types of seat posts; however, this is more about my ride than the functions of Varia. On the maiden voyage, it began to chirp as cars approached (side note: it also starts flashing like crazy when it senses a vehicle). Call it weird, but I felt protected, for lack of a better word. Not only did my Wahoo computer chirp, but it displayed on the screen how many vehicles were back and where they were relative to me. Yes, I know this is not new technology, but to me it is a God send.

No, I am not completely out of the woods. I still have times of insecurity. After all, the Garmin will not keep a distracted driver’s vehicle from plowing into me. I do not know if that feeling will ever go away. I use to ride and only think of my ride, but times have changed. I do seek less traveled roads and enjoy the occasional gravel ride. Traffic will not get any better; actually, it seems to be getting worse, but there are measures to take to feel a bit more safe. Maybe I have found something that will help me get back to riding in comfort . . . somewhat.

Bon Velo!

11 thoughts on “Peace of Mind . . . sort of . . . maybe

      1. I admit I know little of the tactics and politics of the race, but it sure makes a great spectacle. And to have someone to cheer for after all this time is great too. And someone with a little more character than the whole of Team Sky combined…

  1. It’s the little extra securities that add up. If it gets out out and feeling safer it’s forth the money. I run a rear light/camera combo now. It gives my wife a little more peace of mind.

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