Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Disco Velo

My new Carradice Pendle saddle bag, from Nelson, England.

My new Carradice bag arrived and so I tried it out this morning. Le Tigre, my old college chum, joined me near the start of my break-of-day commute to the San. I ordered on of those bag supports that supposed to attach to rails of the Brookes--but it wouldn't fit. Actually it wouldn't fit any of my saddles. So I've got this expensive piece of gear I don't quite know what to do with. But I decided to buy my Carradice bag from the UK rather than the cheap knock-off Chinese made saddle bag.

Le Tigre!

One thing about riding with younger guys is you quickly realize they are younger guys--and you (as in Yours, Gentle Reader of This Blog) are and older guy. I don't think I'm quite an Old Man yet--but when young lads--and lasses fly pass me on the road--I say, "Go Baby!"

So Le Tigre and I rode at a good pace, and that's what I always need to break up the routine. At a few points in the commute, I rode on Ryan's wheel and that draft really made a difference on the fast rollers, mes amis.

For what its worth, Le Tigre says he feels a bit "un-nerved" on my commute route. In the mornings, while there's not a lot of traffic, car drivers are bookin' and I suppose I've become accustom to automobiles flying by me in the narrow bike lane on parts of Skyline and Sunrise Rds. Yeah, there are the ass-wipes that buzz really really close--but again, I'm used to it. Le Tigre and I, as always, had a few laughs and a good ride, and in no time we're at the bike lockers. I say farewell and he heads back to his home not far away, and I to the locker room.

I have a bright red strobe light on the back of my helmet, and then the bright red strobe on the frame. You can see me up ahead for almost a mile or more. Plus, I have a very bright white strobe what flashes, attached to my handle bars--this is for the driver not paying attention and making a left turn. My hope is that the flasher lets them know a bike is there in the bike lane. These may seem dorky to some, but as much as I ride, I want to lower the chances of getting hit. If I am hit, there's no way someone can say, "I didn't see him..." when the jersey is bright white or yellow, and the flashing lights on board are like a Disco.

Campus 0f the Desert Sanitarium, Tucson, Arizona.

While I worked in the office, the thorn that had embedded in my front tire let out all the air so that after work when I got out to the bike lockers, the tire was flat.

Fixing a flat tire in 104 degrees.

I made quick work of the flat--Phil and Judy at Pima Street bikes are on vacation so I just had to change the tube, and get going.

It was hot, and there was a head wind that was even tossing me around. When I finally got to the top of Sunrise and a bit past Campbell Ave, where the street turns back into Ina Rd., mostly I have a fast descent to the YMCA. I just have to be vigilant as people are on their cell phones or texting. A few days ago I stopped at a light by Westward Look, the resort where the big El Tour accident occurred, and a young man texting drove right through the red light with out even looking up--luckily none of the other cars had started pulling out as the light changed.

The start of the fast descent, heading West on Ina Rd.

As long as I keep moving, the 104 temps are okay. The real danger is enjoying the fast 30 mph downhill too much--you have to keep an eye out for careless car drivers making left turns in front of you. Most people are not watching for a bike jetting down the road in the bike lane.

Ride safe!

There are always many more polite and attentive drivers and I am thankful for that--Tucson is a great place to ride! All my stress and cares fall away quickly as I become one with the Road, the Wind, and the Heat...

Allure Libre! Bruce

1 comment:

Big Clyde said...

As always, I enjoy the simplicity of your blog, Bruce. I feel like I am riding along with you. Keep hydrated out there.