Monday, August 14, 2006

It's a Monday - The Daily Blunder

Weather: Rainy, 52 degrees F. 16 miles round trip, saved 1 gallon of gas and $3. Only $1586 more to go before I offset cost of my bike, gear and clothing. Damn, commuting IS worth it!

Got up nice and early today. I had been trying to figure out how to keep my long hair dry in the rain. I came up with a winner idea: My long hair is too long to put up in my helmet or tucked in a helmet/head liner. I figured I would put it is it's usual ponytail, then I would wrap the ponytail in plastic wrap, such as Saran Wrap. I would then secure it with another ponytail band. Damn, I get GREAT ideas when I can't sleep. I didn't do it today, instead I grabbed a shower cap. Yeah, tuck everything into a shower cap, it's baggier than the helmet liner and my hair won't be soaked with rainwater but I'm sure it would be soaked with sweat from the mini-showercap sauna. Suggestions for this problem are welcome...

Prepacked my work clothes and lunch last night. Hard rain had slowed to a drizzle. I added my bike rack, Topeak Trunk, blinky light for the rear and light in the front, put on my waterproof jacket, backpack and dayglo saftey vest sized for a full-keg beer belly. I changed out my pedals back to my SPD/platform style and dug out my shimano mountain bike shoes so my feet would stay drier. Cliping in and out of the SPD's is SOOO much easier than the Look style pedals. I will have to figure out what is going on with those pedals, probably over the winter.

Everything going great, feeling good and strong for the 8 mile ride with the hills I sometimes dread. I have to remind myself I CAN DO IT, I CAN MAKE IT UP THE HILLS. I get to where I have to cross a pretty big road, all is great and well. I clip out with my right foot, leave the left clipped in. I have done this hundreds of times but this is the FIRST TIME clipping out with a trunk rack!! My bike is now top-heavy. I immediately start falling to the left due to the top-heavy weight. Oh shit, I think as I land in the road I'm following. A guy in a truck is watching me, freaking out. I realize this, jump up, give him a smile and a double "thumbs up, EVERYTHING IS OK!". No pain, no injury, just stupidity. This is the FIRST TIME I have ever fallen due to being clipped in. I was thinking it won't happen to me, I'm too "aware". Well, I was fully aware of what was happening, so yeah, aware isn't always where it's at. The rest of the ride is uneventful until I decide to take a shortcut and realize I'm about to go off a curb, evasive manuever follows. Fortunately I was able to pull out. Gotta pay better attention.

Driver's on my ride home are much meaner. They have a bad 'Tude after working all day and rainy weather makes them grumpier. Am I that way behind the wheel?? I don't think so. Young guys are the worst drivers to encounter- late teens, early 20's. They are assholes.

Looking forward to tomorrows ride! I plan on not falling and watching out for curbs that jump out from nowhere.


steve said...

Well, I can give you my solution to hair problems, but I don't know if you'll like it... Get a set of clippers and shave down to grade 1!

I only ride platform pedals for exactly the same reason you found... It makes me too nervous that something will go wrong and I won't be able to unclip in time.

George said...

I second what Steve said.

It would take me 10 years to grow a ponytail:-)

Michelle said...

I will NOT sacrifice my hair for my ride...I will NOT....I will not...I will...NOT...even consider it.


Tim said...

You haven't gone clipless until you've taken a dumbass fall in front of a motorist. It's part of the initiation process! Clipless pedals are still worth it. Eventually, muscle memory will kick in and you'll get out of them super fast.

And if your counting gas savings while trying to amortize your bike, don't forget to factor in the health benefits, both mental and physical. It's much harder to put a value on them, but they're worth more than gasoline.