This will not likely be a surprise to anyone who has seen me in person, but I don't generally enjoy physical activity. I did play on an indoor soccer team for a while, but in the last few years, I've been spending far more time pretending to be an athlete on my XBOX than anything sports-like.
However, earlier this year my wife starting working at the local (and really great) charity Tu Nidito, which raises quite a bit of their budget from El Tour de Tucson, so now, partially due to a bet with TucsonVelo.com's Mike McKisson, I'm going to ride a bicycle for 42 miles on Nov. 23. This is probably a terrible idea on my part, but I'm trying to think of the kids Tu Nidito serves while grimacing/pedaling and that helps a bit.
The catch is now I get to join the rest of Tucson bicyclists in actively fearing my own demise while on two wheels. Just think: A few short weeks ago, I was exclusively part of the driving class, annoyed by anyone wearing spandex and a helmet. While I have largely tried to stick to the area's enjoyable and safer bike trails, there are moments when I have to wheel myself out on to a city street, living in somewhat constant fear that someone is going to skip a stop sign or veer a little extra to the right and it's going to be curtains for your friendly neighborhood alt-weekly editor and before I even give my cardio-pulmonary system the opportunity to give out on me somewhere around my Tour ride's 35 mile mark.
No, I'm not planning on becoming one of the Tucsonans who spends their time cursing the existence of motor vehicles in general. I like getting to my workplace in air-conditioned comfort still, so I'm going to remain an active driver. But in a week when there was a fatal bike accident a few streets down from my house, is it too much to ask for you, Tucson Weekly readers, to give bicycle riders a little extra thought this time of year? Thanks in advance.