Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Riding in the rain, no helmet, no brakes

It wasn't until i was maybe 100 feet away from where i knew the road would begin to descend that i remembered the townie's brakes weren't the best in the rain. Not that i had expected it to rain like it did - In fact, i'd figured it wasn't more than a dense fog i was facing when i headed out for a midday errand, and that i'd be damp but not soaked upon returning. watching the untrued front wheel spin like a slightly warped record, i recalled how badly i needed to install the new fenders on my road bike...once i finished assembling the wheels, once i finished truing them, once i finished getting some decent tires. but that thought was quickly replaced by the feeling of my wet hands squeezing the brakes as i picked up speed heading down Mission towards the clock tower and not getting the best results.

No helmet today - too cold, beanie won't fit with it on, lost the balaclava, i have a death wish. okay, not really, maybe i'm just lazy. somedays i wear one, somedays i don't. today, i wish i had.

the bike is slowing down for the red light ahead but not enough. the trunk of a car is looming closer, then closer. i'm squeezing the brakes with all my might but the rain is showing no mercy. i'm going to hit the car i realize, not too hard, but not too softly either. i step off the left pedal and put my foot down with all my weight - the sound of wet rubber skidding on wet cement then ...silence. i breathe deeply. tomorrow i'm bringing the rain gear, that and a helmet too.

1 comment:

Yokota Fritz said...

Is your Townie fendered? If not, the canonical emergency stopping method is shoving your shoe into the space between the tire and the downtube. Scoot your weight back so you don't endo.