Thursday, January 9, 2014

It was the Best of Times, It was the Worst of Times

It Was The Best of Times

It finally got up to 20° today (which is my cycling line in the sand, or should I say my line in the snow and ice) so I was back on my bike outside again.  I got a late start, a bit after 4:00, but I went anyway.  I started out to ride to the Northwood School and back, about a 10 mile ride.  I made it over to Northwood just fine.  Made all the hills, seemed to be finally understanding how to shift appropriately and so on.  It took me about half an hour to go the 5 miles.  For my ride back, I knew it would now be starting to get darker, so I turned on my back blinky red light and started back. I made it up Frisbee Hill, pedaling all the way without stopping even once!  Victory!  The best of times!

It Was The Worst of Times

At the intersection at the top of Frisbee Hill there was so much traffic in all directions that when I finally had a chance to go again, I decided not to turn onto Frisbee Hill Road at the jog half way down the hill as I would have to cross in front of a lot of cars or spend a huge amount of time waiting.  So I decided to go straight north on North Greece Road instead.  Poor choice.  The ride was fine, but it lengthened my ride enough so that it was getting much darker than I had planned.  I had forgotten to put my new front light on my bike and although I was wearing a neon colored jacket, I had forgotten to put on my reflective vest.  I had nothing reflective on.  And for some reason, my bike stopped shifting.  I don't know if it was something I did or didn't do, or some other issue.  I didn't want to stop due to the falling darkness.  And besides, unfortunately I don't really know enough about bike mechanics to be able to diagnose or fix a problem.  So I just kept pedaling.  Kind of had myself a Fixie.  Almost home, back in the village again, with street lights, someone in a passing car yelled at me.  I couldn't quite make out what they said, but it had something to do with being seen.  I wondered what his problem was.  I knew I had turned on my back blinky light.  Well, when I got home, I discovered that, for some unexplained reason, my light had stopped working!  Ugh!

So, Now What?

From now on, if I'm leaving the house in the late afternoon, all my lights (and backup lights) AND my reflective vest are going with me!  I plan to have 2 or 3 red blinky lights on my back!  I plan to ride again tomorrow and hopefully my shifting will work.  If not, it will be off to the bike store on Saturday to have it looked at.

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