A Bad Day On The Bike…

… is still better than a good day in the car.

The holidays are over.  The new year is here.  Most of us are back at work.  Even with the cold weather we’ve had this week (until this afternoon) I’ve seen quite a few bicycle commuters.  I’ve also had interactions with rude and clueless drivers.

I’ve had at least one near-miss every day this week.  It normally takes months to get that many.  I’m wearing a lime-green reflective vest, I’m well lit, and I take the lane.  What gives?

This afternoon two cars cut me off within five minutes of each other.  Both times I was downtown on one-way streets with multiple lanes.  The second time, the car braked directly in front of me because another car was stopped at a red light.  I had to brake hard to avoid running into him.  I rolled along side of his car and rapped on his window.  I didn’t expect him to roll it down, but he did.

He was a clean-cut middle-aged man with a foreign accent (Indian?).  He was actually quite apologetic.  He actually SAW ME, he had changed lanes and went around me long enough to swerve back in front of me while braking.  After our (polite) words were exchanged, I rolled in front of him and waited for the light.  I think he got the message.

I rode my LHT in it’s “winter trim” yesterday and today.  We didn’t have any snow or ice, but I knew there was the possibility yesterday.  Pondero wanted some pictures, so I took the camera to work with me and grabbed a few pictures in front of the building.

Long Haul Trucker - Winter trim
Long Haul Trucker - Winter trim

The new front wheel has a dynohub, but haven’t bought a light for it yet.  I will soon.

Shimano Alfine Dynohub
Shimano Alfine Dynohub

The new Tektro CR720 wide-profile cantilever brakes feel better and are quieter, but they don’t seem much stronger.  Maybe some adjustments can fix that.

The Schwalbe Marathon Winter tires I bought almost two years ago will keep me upright on icy roads.

Tires and Brakes
Tires and Brakes

I’ve run the shift cables along the bars, allowing me to install the BarMitts.  I’ll eventually buy some more bar tape and re-wrap the bars.

Bars and Mitts
Bars and Mitts

I haven’t ridden the recumbent this week, but I probably should.  My neck hurts, my shoulder hurts, my upper back hurts, and my right hand is tingly.

It is nice to have all the bikes functional again.  No more worries about bad weather without the appropriate bike.

8 thoughts on “A Bad Day On The Bike…”

  1. Yep, you are looking quite winter ready. Nice job on the bike mods. Now keep a good eye on those over-rushed motorized vehicles.

  2. I generally keep my cool with incidents like this. It was just too much in a few days for me to bear.

    I still have more changes I want/need to make, but in time… in time.

  3. The LHT looks slick. Love the shot of the studs!

    I think a little more craziness happens on the roads when it’s cold (especially cold and grey). I think winter makes Louisville drivers nervous.

  4. How do the brakes feel? Firm and Solid? If so lower the straddle cable. Should be 90 degrees when the pads hit the rim, and should feel a bit squishy, as you should then have enough leverage to actually squash the pads.

  5. The LHT is looking good aren’t those studded tyres slippy on the road though when there is no ice ? I’ve looked at them but often wondered what they are like when not used in ice and snow ?

    Where I live a bad day on the bike is when you don’t make it home ! commuting round here is a success when you don’t get knocked off lol

  6. I dig the bar mitts, too bad it isnt winter long enough in Texas to justify getting some. My lobster gloves are almost overkill here even on the coldest days.

  7. Asher,
    Thanks! I love the bike. It’s also slightly easier on my neck that the single-speed, but the Dummy and the ‘bent are even better.

    I still have adjustments to make. I think I need to lower the cable hanger a tad.

    I don’t corner hard with the studded tires, but otherwise, no big deal. There is a bit more rolling resistance, but my commute is short. I won’t be riding that bike much unless we get some actual winter weather. I had to make sure it was ready though. Come spring, it’ll be my primary bike again, once I switch the tires again.

    I’ve found the BarMitts to be great in a wide variety of temperatures. You still have ventilation when using them. In warm-ish temperatures I’ll leave my hands bare. In cold weather a thin pair of wool gloves is all I need. The mitts block the wind, but don’t seal the moisture in.

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