I have a confession to make: I'm one of those cyclists who wears brightly coloured spandex for riding. My shorts are WPI cycle team surplus, and my shirt is a shade of flourescent yellow most comonly seen on low pipes and unexpected steps in the industrial environment.
I don't wear this get up to look cool, or because I have some perception of being a competition grade cyclist. I know I'm not, and frankly have little desire to be. However looking like I'm moving fast will hopefully lower the number of idiots who pull out of driveways in front of me (this is advice from a couple of actual competition cyclists, I'm not sure how true it is). And when I do end up on the ground the spandex really comes into its own.
At 20MPH road rash sucks, allot. The last time I wiped out the exposed skin that hit pavement didn't heal for two months(did you know that road rash down to the fat doesn't blead imediatly? Neither did I.), in the areas covered by trendy cycle cloths the bruises faded in a week or two and the scratches were gone in days.
Now before JayG threatens to run me over with his truck, I do stay on the side of the road, not the middle, and if you see me in the middle or left lane of a road, its because I'm turning left, very soon. I'm also a big fan of hand signals, although I try to make my manuevers when there is no one back there to see them any way.
Tonight was, incidentally, the first actual ride I've taken on my road bike in a couple years. Its a bit different then riding on the trainer, and the bad habits gained from having the bike supported definitely show. An almost 7 mile ride on a cool fall evening certainly made the day better, and the combination of quite and solitude is one I quite like.
I almost grabbed my iPod on the way out the door, but decided against it. Mostly to keep better situational awairness. About two minutes later I was far to busy listening to the birds, then wind in my ears, and the pleasant creaking of an ancient race bike to want or care about music blasting in my ears.