I am a big believer in biking karma. What goes around, comes around. This belief was confirmed while riding in this year's RAGBRAI. As anyone who has ridden RAGBRAI knows, there are always riders that are going against the traffic - RIDER UP! is the accompanying cry. I always wondered why these people did it.
I finally was voicing my frustration at having to move over to the side for another RIDER UP! and wondering aloud to another rider why these people have to keep going backwards. Do they just like being the center of attention? Do they really need to add to the ride mileage totals? What smug satisfaction could they possibly get out of this?
A few miles later, I had a spoke break on my back tire. I had never had this happen before and did not realize how drastically it effected your tire. I was five miles from the previous town and 15 miles from the next town. I got the bike moving again with the help of a teammate and, yep, you guessed it, took off against the traffic to the mechanics in Varina. Five miles on a wobbly tire against the traffic was a bit disconcerting to say the least. RIDER UP!!
So I learned a lesson. There are lots of reason to have to go against the traffic. Not everyone is seeking attention. After this experience, I looked at the riders thinking maybe they had mechanical problems or needed to go back to help a spouse/friend/teammate. I was more humble and more understanding. In my book, a valuable karmic lesson.
A lesson that many of the riders who had less friendly things to say than RIDER UP! will hopefully learn some day. And for the guy who ran me and my wobbly tire off the road on to the gravel because he refused to slow down or look up, I shudder at the lesson he might learn . . . or more likely he does not believe in karma.
Thank you so much to all of the folks who made Team Simpson so much fun to ride with. My brothers and I had a great ride and an even greater time being with such a wonderful team. I look forward to wearing my Team Simpson colors again next year!