Monday, August 06, 2007

BOBbing Along

Yesterday, after a surprisingly fast commute of just under 30 miles, I hooked up the BOB to ride over to Freedom to pick up the instruments for river testing. Lily and I rode a mellow pace through the evening sunshine.

The BOB run gave me 44 miles for the day. Yes my transportation took longer than it would have in a car, but so what?

I don't do things because I'm capable. I'm capable because I do things. Anyone can do what I do. You just have to make it important to yourself. It may be a good idea to cultivate some capability. You never know when you might need it. Lose your wallet or your stock portfolio and all you'll have left is whatever capability you have bothered to develop.

It's fun to realize you don't have to use a car all the time. I still use a car some of the time. In the winter I use it extensively. If I didn't have to have a job and drive to it, I might use the car much less, but the way life turned out, I drive. I really get to hate it by March.

This was the BOB's maiden cruise. It was great. No other way to put it. It's everything I hoped it would be. Yes, it sways a little on the back of the bike, like any load, but it doesn't stress the rear wheel as much as panniers would. I can remove the trailer and have my bike back to normal in seconds.

The trailer owner's manual sets an upper speed limit of 25 miles per hour. With it empty I hit 25.5 without bursting into flames. I didn't dare get frisky when toting expensive electronics that don't belong to me , so I didn't try it with them on board. It wouldn't be fun to have things start bouncing around on a bumpy descent.

The trailer comes with a flag and a bright yellow dry bag. I would still feel nervous pulling it through tight motor vehicle traffic. Drivers get more and more oblivious to small vehicles as their own get bigger and bigger. Despite some lip service to small cars and better gas mileage, the majority seems to lean toward the large barge. The drivers of small cars are watching out for these behemoths, not pedal-powered vehicles that can't do them any harm. In continuous traffic it's too easy to get trapped in a bad spot, even on an unloaded bike, let alone with another half a bike's worth of low length behind you. Or maybe it's just me. I have to lose my tendency to barrel through stunt man gaps when things get a little chaotic.

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