Friday, August 9, 2013

Running at Fiesta Island

Fiesta Island is an island located in Mission Bay in San Diego.  The attraction for runners is that it is flat and has a one-way road, about four miles long,  that circles its circumference.  The island is also popular for dog walkers and cyclists.

I'll take the dogs, but could do without the cyclists.  When I run Fiesta Island, I run clockwise, which is against the cars and cyclists which travel counter clockwise.  Generally, there is almost no traffic on the island, at most there are drips and drabs of vehicles circling the island, especially at seven in the morning.  As a result, the typical cyclist has the freedom to navigate the entire width of the one way road without fear of being run over by a car.

However, rather than move over two or three feet when they encounter me, most cyclists, who are apparently on a world record pace and don't want to deviate from their line, can't be bothered to move more than 12" from my shoulder.  I don't really get scared by this behavior, but I am somewhat concerned that one of them is going to plow into me at 20 mph.

I find this a bit ironic, as I used to do training rides at Fiesta Island back when I was a roadie.  I don't recall buzzing runners and pedestrians on my rides, but then I had no illusions that I was breaking Chris Boardman's hour speed record.

I'm not exactly sure when the attitude and sense of entitlement crept into cycling, but I think it was the 1990s. I remember being a bike messenger in San Francisco and was having a conversation with a guy who had a bike on his roof rack.  He told me he had drove in from Marin and was going to ride in Critical Mass that Friday night.

I thought it funny that he drove his car into the city, so that he could ride his bike in Critical Mass.  If you're going to ride in Critical Mass, ride your bike into the city.  Otherwise, it sorta misses the point.  I'm sure he thought himself pretty cool for riding in Critical Mass and pissing off all the motorists trapped in their cars as 5,000 cyclists ran stop signs and red lights.

I considered him a poser and felt like I did a one-man Critical Mass every time I got up  in the morning and went to work.  To top it off, I felt as though on Mondays following Critical Mass, the cars paid me back for Friday night's Critical Mass ride.

In any event, if you ride a bike and you're not in the middle of a UCSF sanctioned event, the next time you pass me, to paraphrase Lynyrd Skynyrd, "Won't you give me three feet, gimme three feet mister, and you'll never see me no more."
San Elijo Hills Running Club

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