Friday, October 19, 2007

Not quite irony...

While getting ready to depart, I plunged my hands into the bowels of the drawer of infinite t-shirts without so much as turning on a light to see by. The fruit of my first attempt yielded a black t-shirt. Even in the faint, pale light invading the darkness of my room, I could tell. I descended again -- actually looking this time -- grabbing something lighter-colored. I hurriedly threw it on. Then, I fumbled around on top of my dresser for some gloves I'd seen there the night before. I stuffed them in the pockets of my cargo pants, then went back out into the light to the front hall closet for a jacket.

It's not quite irony, but it's close: I'd be riding my bicycle this morning wearing Ford Racing mechanics gloves, and a Focaljet.com t-shirt. Yep, wearing a bunch of automotive-centric gear so that I can ride my bike. The gloves are quite comfy, and feel much like my full-finger bicycle gloves. They've got supple leather padding on the palms to help with the kind of trauma that comes with 8 hours of using air tools. They should do just fine to dampen the handlebar vibrations.

I waddled out into the crisp morning air, lugging the Outlook behind me. Despite being 50 degrees, it felt quite nippy for some reason. As I hammered the viaduct, I started warming up. My pace was offset when a Ferrellgas truck hauling welding containers buzzed me. This is the second time in the last week that a truck from this company has refused to give me room on this stretch of road, so I'll probably air my grievance to the company later on today. I can't say for sure, but it was likely the same driver both times. Next time I see the truck, I'll just start riding the left tire rut, too. If "as far right as is safe and practical" means forcing a 12-ton behemoth to give me some ****ing room, then the left rut IS as far right as is safe and practical.

UPDATE: I talked to the driver's manager. My story didn't come as a surprise to him, but he was very apologetic and seemed livid at the whole situation. I told the manager to make sure that the driver doesn't ACTUALLY hit me angrily next time he sees me. That's my way of saying "fire this guy or switch him to a new route, please." I'm not beyond using a road flare next time I see this guy -- only so he can see me, of course. One does have to wonder, though, what a road flare made of incendiary magnesium would do if it accidentally slipped out of my hand and a foot away onto the flat bed with a bunch of welding containers as I dive off the bike and behind the concrete barricade that demarcates the sidewalk of the viaduct. Fortunately, the world will never know.

While drinking coffee with Lorin and JR, I saw the Diamondback I parked next to earlier this week. The rider now has a gigantic basket on the front, which anchors to the fork. It looks like it could carry three full paper grocery sacks. This guy means business!

Random Tunage:
Steve Porter - Vodka Cranberries
Hybrid - Dreaming Your Dreams

4 comments:

martinoffroad said...

Maybe it felt nippy because it was 50 degrees...LOL
I am not a cold weather person, anything below 60 in the fall or winter is nippy to me, you will always find me with leg or knee warmers along with arm warmers at temps between 48-60, tights at anything below that.
Its strange how I feel safer riding in the dark in the morning with my taillights and headlights, it seems people see me better than the daylight, I guess its the curiosity of what the heck is that blinking ahead or that bright light headed slowly my way.

A Midnight Rider said...

Lets hope a word from the manager will get that guy thinking his job is more important than being the anti share the road snot.

The last two weeks I was riding in Austria. We were pining for 50 degree weather more than once.

Smudgemo said...

Call the cops and ask for your options. Try to find one that either rides or is a motorcyclist so you get some sympathy. I did this once to an aggressive driver and he got a phone call and a talking to from the Berkeley PD. I could have pressed charges, but it was a he said/she said situation.

Maybe you should go visit the manager sometime so he can put a face to a danger.

Anonymous said...

Hi Noah,

About the flare on the flatbed fantasy, here's some fiction in a similar vein, the "Spike Bike" stories, if you're not familiar with them:

http://linux.stevens-tech.edu/kmh/spike.bike.all.txt

Yours, Eric
Santa Clara, California

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