How to Get Horribly Lost
Every year a couple people get lost on the ride and are never seen again. They’re probably eaten by piranhas. Whatever.
Here is how not to get lost.
No matter which route you pick, we will start your day following PINK marks painted on the road that look like this:
At each turn on the route there is a “turn soon” mark about a half-block before the turn, a “turn NOW” mark right at the turn, and a “go straight” mark right after the turn to let you know that you made the right decision.
We follow ONLY those pink marks.
Now, take a look at these other road marks you might see on the route:
Those marks all have one thing in common -- they have ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH OUR RIDE! They are from other events, or put there by the utility companies to show where to dig.
Whenever someone gets lost on the ride, if they survive I ask them what went wrong, and after they stop yelling at me, 50 percent of them say something such as this:
“Well, I was following the pink circles all day, and then I saw this blue arrow going left, so I decided to follow it...”
• • •
Here’s the second-most common way that people get lost:
If you get to an intersection and see no mark at all (like in the picture above) that means to keep going straight -- we do not mark the road when we want you to just keep going straight.
That means that we hear this a lot too: “I was at this intersection and there was no mark, but I saw a lot of cars turning right, so I figured that I should turn right too.”
Finally, here’s the third way that people usually get lost forever:
Yes, that IS a bike route sign. But it’s not OUR sign, and it’s not a bike route that we are riding on today. (In fact, this particular bike route sign is in Texas. Follow that arrow and you will wind up in... uh... Texas.) Do you see one of our pink circles here? No! Are you irresistibly tempted to follow this sign anyway? You are? Bad dog! No biscuit!
• • •
We put down a road mark every mile, whether anything is happening or not, just to remind you that we love you and we’re thinking about you.
SO... if you are on a seven-mile long straight stretch, we’ll put down a mark every mile. That means that if you have pedaled for six solid minutes without seeing a mark, you are horribly lost and will probably die. Or you can call our ride headquarters (the phone number will be on the route sheet we give you) and we’ll be happy to help you out.
HOWEVER... we have this conversation a LOT on ride day:
“Hi, bike ride headquarters, how can we help?”
“I need assistance.”
“No problem -- where are you?”
“I don’t know.”
This may slow down our rescue mission just a bit.
Even if you’re lost, try to remember the last location when you were on the route -- what was the last rest stop you were at? Which route distance are you doing? Where was the last road mark you saw? Is there a street address where you are? (“I’m in front of a house at 432 Maple Drive.”) We have software to help pinpoint your location, but the more clues you can give us the better, since our psychic powers aren’t all that great.
MOST IMPORTANT -- we are here to help you, right up to the point when we lose interest. No matter what sort of fix you’re in, call us and we’ll get you out of it.