Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Still On Twenty Inches

Expecting snow today I woke up at my regular time instead of my later day-off time in hopes of getting a ride in before it arrived. And I did. A somewhat adventuresome ride at that. I left the house at 5:45 on the 20" Citizen Folding bike. I continue to find it a fun ride, but I must admit the extra effort and the slightly longer travel time is getting a bit old after four straight days, especially in these rather extreme weather conditions. Thankfully there was no wind to speak of today, but at 18 degrees the windchill was still 11 degrees and in those temperatures every minute counts a bit more. Anyway I started out before the snow fully aware that it could start at any minute. I reached the Locust street trail-entry and though I'd had no trouble getting the Citizen over the tracks before, for some reason, perhaps I'd slowed a bit on the turn and didn't have enough acceleration before I hit the deep gravel, I went down! First spill on the bike since I started riding and an insignificant one at that. Not that I didn't feel the sting, but I doubt I even have a mark on me given the amount of layered clothing I wear in this weather. You'd think that it might be at this point that I'd noticed that in my stupor on leaving the house I'd forgotten to wear my helmet, but I still hadn't noticed. Not until I was somewhere up on Kelly drive, I think I reached to adjust the ipod ear pods, did I suddenly realize that I didn't have my helmet on. I thought it pretty ironic that I'd actually fallen on the only day that I'd not worn my helmet. How is that possible, you may wonder? Obviously the balaclava covered by my ear warmers cover my head to the point that it doesn't feel like I don't have something on. This, of course, left me feeling a bit anxious given that it was also at about this point that the snow began. But the snow was not a factor until very near the end of my 13.5 full loop. On the last stretch of the path the snow was creating a film over the roadway because so few people were out. It wasn't deep and on the regular roads was being moved away by traffic, but on this one part of the trail and then on some of the side streets heading home it gave me some pause and I rode slightly more cautiously. On top of that, for some reason my ipod must not have charged fully but I ran out of power on the return trip and couldn't finish the line-up of pod-casts I'd set out for today's ride.
Now I'll watch how this weather develops this morning and see whether I can pick up our bikes from the shop. Ah well, if not today then tomorrow, but I'd sure like to give the new bike a whirl.

Last night I watched the DVD "Pedals" about the life of N.Y. Bike Couriers. Fascinating! And fun to watch their daring riding in the City Streets. Of course, I'm conflicted. I have just enough experience riding the downtown urban world of Philly to know that sometimes, maybe more than sometimes, the safest and most effective cycling requires ignoring the normal rules of the road and I've reported on my doing just that. On the other hand, I wish that this were not so and the flagrant and joyful flaunting of safe and legal cycling behavior is not good for cycling, I think, in the long run and only justifies the contempt in which drivers and pedestrians in the city hold cyclists. It's a dilemma. But the movie itself is very well done and very worthwhile.

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