Pay special attention to this guy on a motorcycle. Dick and I did not.
It is what is to come flying around the corner behind the motorcycle that you really really need to pay attention to. Dick and I did not.
We were in Tampa to attend an Eco Festival today. We had parked our vehicle and we were crossing this street in downtown Tampa after the motorcycle had passed by, unknowingly placing ourselves directly in the path of a "criterium', or crit, which is a bike race held on a short course (usually less than 5 km), often run on closed-off city center streets. Generally the event's duration (commonly one hour) is shorter than that of a traditional road race, however the average speed and intensity are appreciably higher. It may appear in this photo as if these racers are out for a leisurely pedal around the block, but in this particular race they are competing for ten $500.00 prizes with the top eighty-five racers from all competitions throughout the day competing for twenty $1999.00 prizes in the finals. I tell you this so that you might possibly be able to imagine the motivation... the competitive spirit... the adrenaline that is behind this madness heading straight for us as we are now smack dab in the center of the street and the cyclists have formed more of a clustered mass than a single line as they prepare to round the approaching corner where we are headed. Do we run back to safety from the direction we had come or try to reach the other side before we are pummeled into the concrete? Do we stop dead in our tracks? There was no time to contemplate the pros and cons. With Dick at my heels, we sprinted forward as the first cyclist in the pack yelled, "Stop!" just seconds before he flew by in front of me as he cleared the corner and the other cyclists circled around behind us. (The cyclist had no more than a foot clearance between the sidewalk and me when he passed in front of me.) When my feet reached the sidewalk, I found the nearest bench and just sat. I was in shock... dazed... amazed... thankful. Hindsight tells us that the guy on the motocycle was the "pace car", but if one does not know that there is a race event or its route and the streets are not cordoned off with yellow tape... just barracades in some intersections... well, you can see how this near fatal situation could have occurred. The cyclists continued to circle round and round... and we proceeded to our destination... the Eco Festival... to deeply breathe in all that life has to offer... with an enhanced awareness of how fragile and precious life really is.
March 27, 2010
Today's Mileage: 2-mile walk
Total Mileage for March: 35.5 miles
Bible reading? Yes