Cycling Safety, The Eclipse, and Squirrels
Posted on August 20 2017
Weekends in the Coeur office are quieter and we have time for random conversation that frequently meanders from topic to topic. Sort of the way we (and perhaps many of you) used to hop on our bikes as kids and take off for rides with no defined destination. No power meters, no heart rate monitors or pre-planned routes. Just twists and turns and the desire to follow a road as long as the scenery and pavement was good.
We typically go for a bike ride before heading to work and on occasion we extend the ride and just pedal in to the office. It’s a smaller crew than the weekdays and the combination of a good ride and a bit of extra coffee almost always leads to some fun conversation.
A ride is a great way to start the work day
It’s not uncommon for someone to start a story and then get distracted or interrupted before finishing. When someone realizes that we’re on the third topic but haven’t finished any of the previous discussions, they’ll yell “Squirrel!" The inside joke on that word comes from our security guard, I mean vacuum, I mean always happy and super squirrel obsessed Bernese Mountain dog, Beaumont. No matter what Beau is doing, if a squirrel is sighted, he instantly forgets about what’s in front of him and goes into chase mode. His record for catching squirrels is perfect….as in he’s never even come close. But the penchant for dropping everything to chase, look at, or look for his furry nemesis has made the word squirrel a verb in the Coeur office.
I'll get him this time for sure...or not.
Our conversation this weekend followed suit. We’d start talking about something and then the subject would change and we could never quite figure out why or when. In any event, here are a few of the subjects covered between orders being filled, emails being returned and (yes, of course) more coffee being consumed.
There’s a decent range of speed in the office. Hilary on the design team is lighting fast and loves the shorter distance races. Ash is a Kona finisher and seems to excel at every distance and Kebby is a bit more of a diesel. We noted that when we schedule rides together, our track record for actually completing said ride is very high. Even if no one has a race scheduled. The desire to not let a riding companion down adds a degree of positive pressure and we’re thankful for that fact. Somewhere along the way, we started using (or borrowed) the term Account-a-buddy to describe the benefit of having riding companions. Now to be clear, there are times that we love riding alone. The time to think and reflect is invaluable, but when we don’t have a pending race as motivation, it’s great to have riding friends to keep up the hours on the saddle. So cheers to riding partners. They make rides more fun, more safe, they get us on the bike when we want to sleep in and there’s always the….Squirrel!
We were on a ride a month or so ago on a familiar route where we head up on a climb on a road called Tigertail. It’s about a mile of moderate six or seven percent grade climbing and then it ends with about a quarter mile of double digit percentage grade that can leave a mark on the legs. After Tigertail, we descend and make a right turn on a street called San Vicente. This section is relatively flat and we have a tendency to relax a bit. The hard’ish climbing is behind us and San Vicente has a nice bike lane. The road ends at the ocean and we make a circle to the right to make our way back east toward home. On this particular ride we were on the way home when suddenly one of us went down. There was a section of the road that had been dug up for some utility work and the pavement turned to mud and back to pavement. A wheel caught and before you know it, we had a bit of a yard sale with rider going one way and bike the other. Fortunately, the bike was ok! Seriously though, no bones were broken and the tiny bit of road rash reminded everyone how quickly things can go south. So, please learn from our lesson and stay vigilant even when the traffic is light. We’re going to write a more detailed blog on bike safety after consulting with a few coaches, but for the time being, please be careful out there and be sure to Squirrel!
Despite the fact that we’re not in an optimal viewing location, we’re still going to plan on being outside to see at least the partial eclipse here in Los Angeles. It’s amazing that scientists can predict this event with such specificity. Sometimes it’s easy to give small things too much mindshare and we’re thankful that cosmological events such as the eclipse are there to make us realize how insignificant many of the things we worry about are in reality.
By the way, at least one person in the office made the observation that it was interesting that no one is speaking up as an “Eclipse Denier”. No claims that the eclipse is a hoax put forth by one group or another. Instead, it seems as if America as a whole is getting excited for the event tomorrow and planning out their sighting spots. So, if scientists are using the data and testing to confirm the eclipse then shouldn't we trust the same scientists who say we should take care of the environment because of the risk of climate cha…Squirrel!
Happy Training and Racing!
Your friends at Coeur