Mile 0: The First thing I notice is it is COLD!! FREEZING COLD!!! My phone said it was about 32. I was bundled up and hoping I would eventually build up some body heat.
Mile 3.6: Stray dog on the bike trail. I've been chased by dogs on a couple occasions, so I am always cautious when I see this.
Mile 10.3: I final start to sweat and can feel some warmth building up under my layers.
Mile 13.4: Take a quick break to change gloves (thermals were way too hot now.) I feel a little sore and remember telling my four year old last night that I could ONLY run 2 miles with him last night because I had to ride 30 miles in the morning.
Mile 16.7: Finally I feel I have warmed up and I feel great. This is always the best part of a ride for me. Anything before 15 miles I feel I have to push to get going. After this point I feel like I could go for hours.
Mile 24.5: I cross over the lower bridge from West Seattle. I love this part of the ride. I don't know what it is, but seeing the cityscape is always an enjoyable experience.
Mile 26.3: I am riding up East Marginal Way and ahead I see that the road is taped off with two police cars standing as guards. As I make my way along the sidewalk past the scene I can see that the 100 yard section of road is completely empty except that right in the middle of the road lays a mangled bicycle. At this moment I am filled with many different emotions. Grief. Dread. Fear. Cyclists feel a connection with other cyclist and witnessing a scene like this hurts. The cyclists in front of me pull off to comprehend the scene we just witnessed. I hear one say "That could have been us." I'm sure the news cameras I rode past fully captured the look of shock that was on my face. It was a very somber ride for the next couple of miles at a slower pace as my mind is focused on processing everything and not on how fast I am going.
I get to work and learn that the cyclist had been struck by a semi and died on the scene. My condolences go out to the family of the cyclist. I've ridden along that route many times. As we come off the bridge we follow a bike path that feeds us on to the sidewalk on the west side of East Marginal. Most cyclists stay on the side walk for the mile or so it takes to get to the next bike path. Some will jump off the sidewalk and cross the lanes of traffic to get to the bike lane on the far right. I don't know what happened in this situation but the position of the bicycle this seems the most probable situation.
As I am finishing my ride I think to my self, "Never sacrifice safety." Don't sacrifice safety for speed. Don't sacrifice safety for style.
I recall the words I seem to say all the time to my 4 year old son, usually as he is walking along the top of the couch and as he says, "I'll be careful." My response is always "Sometimes being careful means not doing something" It means not saying "I can cut across these lanes of traffic, because I'll look first". It means not riding between cars stopped at an intersection. Even after riding past the scene of where the cyclist was killed on the route I will take every day this month, I still feel that cycling is safe. Every caution must be taken.
I know what my mom and mother-in-law will say. But how often do you drive by a car accident and think, "I need to stop driving my car"?
I know what I am going to do tomorrow morning. Get up and ride another 30.