Sunday, July 27, 2008

Rain Bike and Sunglasses

The forecast looked iffy for today. We might get showers and some of them might border on severe. But the morning was bright. I chose the rain bike, but wore sunglasses because I needed them. They have interchangeable lenses. I could switch to clear if the rain had moved in.

The Rudy glasses with the prescription insert don't work very well in the rain. Water gets between the layers as well as inside and out, despite the large, full-wrap outer lenses. But my rain glasses wouldn't protect against the bright sun of mid-morning. We open an hour later on Sundays.

The showers didn't move in. They're coming. The gray haze gradually darkens, but still spreads the sun's glare. At least it did when I finally extricated myself from the shop after about 45 minutes of closing time pests.

An ambulance and a police car screamed past me on Route 28. A few minutes later, the fire and rescue trucks rumbled by. Past the height of land, traffic could only pass the accident scene one lane at a time. Someone had managed to tear the left front wheel off a jeep. It was facing north in the southbound lane, nose slightly in to the guard rail. I did not see another vehicle involved, but it might have been down over the bank. I didn't want to rubberneck.

I'd waited to shift gears because I could see the accident scene from the crest of 28 where I usually flip the wheel. Further down the slope I pulled into the driveway of a school and office complex to flip to high gear for the rest of the descent. Silver's dropouts are just a little thin, and stamped with a pointless indentation. No 30-second gear changes anymore. Plus I have to pull the wheel down out of the rear fender and work it back up in. Hey, it's a rain bike, not a race bike.

High gear lets me cruise at 28-30 and manage 35 on steeper bits without too much anxiety.

The bike feels really strange with the rear wheel so far back, but it's very stable on fast descents. Nothing twitchy about this bike, even if you'd like it to twitch. Just make sure you have it aimed where you want it to go. You have to make an appointment to change direction. I like it because you can look away from the road for a few seconds or half an hour and it will still be on track...provided it was on track when your attention wandered, or that the track itself didn't take a quick jog.

Anyway, I hear thunder now, and I have to make quick preparations for a motor trip. Easy does it. Mellow tunes, fresh coffee, maybe a snack. Everybody be cool, nobody gets hurt.

No comments: