Monday, October 06, 2008

Soggy Surprise

This morning's ride in was really, really dark. The 5W bulb in the NiteRider wasn't doing much to help, and even with its excellent optics, the 2.4W CatEye HL500II wasn't cutting it. I was ready for rain on the ride in because yesterday the forecast called for a 70% chance in the morning. I was pleasantly greeted with a lack of precipitation, and 61°F with a wee bit of a headwind. The overcast sky and the sun's current schedule made for some eerily dark stretches of trans-urban velocommuting.

I'm almost certain there was more light coming off the back of my bike than from the front. Pardon the cameraphone photo. Yes, two of those are shining through the rain covers. Yes, the PB SuperFlash is lens flaring.

On my way home, I had to swing by the NQLBS (not quite local bike shop) at 95th and Nall. This is just about as inconvenient a location as can be for me. I really, really needed to pick up a new 15W halogen bulb for my NiteRider though, and Bike America was the only place in a reasonable distance from my route that had it in stock.

To get there, I took Roe Lane from Southwest Boulevard. I've never even DRIVEN on this stretch of road so I had no clue what to expect. It dumped me eventually onto the larger Roe Blvd which most Johnson Countians are familiar with. I was a little bit skittish at first, being that it's pouring and I'm about to try my hand riding a well-known arterial roadway that I've never tackled by bike before. To my surprise, motorists were not just courteous but they were flat-out friendly. Maybe it's just because I was out there on a bike in a downpour with three tail-lights, lots of bright colors and my reflect-o-vest on, but really, the whole ride from 50th down to 95th was great. The lanes are kind of narrow where there are two lanes in each direction, but everyone moved to the inside lane to pass me. When it dropped down to one lane, it was a nice, wide lane that was easily shared. 95th was barely traveled, and getting to Nall was just a couple of blocks of riding.

Getting home was as simple as Nall to 87th, then over to Quivira. 87th street is another sketchy stretch of road I often eschew but I was feeling a bit brazen after tackling Roe and 95th. It was a piece of cake and motorists also were forgiving today.

Despite all the wet riding, the raincovers did a great job, too. I've had mixed results when staying out in the rain for extended periods of time but today they worked as designed. In preparation for the rain that I knew was coming today, I did hack my rear fender back together a little. I'm glad, as it definitely helped.

I'm not much for rain, but today, everything seemed to really go well. I'm looking forward to having some real lumens to throw onto the road in the morning.

1 comment:

MELI. said...

nice glow!
looks halloween-ready ;)
nice blog, will stop by often
xo/ m

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