Limiting Friction ‘n’ All That Jazz
Today was a work day, but that doesn’t mean that I didn’t get to cycle. In fact, rather too much cycling for my own good.
Fist of all, there was a ride into Walker to see a client for a short (non-billable) meeting. This was supposed to start at 11, be over by 11:45, giving me plenty of time to get some lunch on the way to the afternoon’s (paying) client. Except the first meeting over-ran, and so there was no time for food. I was reduced to begging biscuits from people in the client’s offices. Degrading, I know, but they’re used to it.
Then after finishing up there, I headed home - via the DIY store to pick up some deep mahogany wood stain & varnish for our new staircase’s handrail.
It was starting to get dark, and so I was in a bit of a hurry. That’s mistake #1. I was riding Wilf (my sturdy commuting bike), but with a full change of clothes, safety shoes, laptop, and now a couple of small tins of paint, he was a little rear-heavy - mistake #2. And I’d not ridden Wilf for a while, so I’m fairly sure that the tyre pressure was a little low - that’s #3. Oh, and there’d been some patchy rain showers during the afternoon.
Anyway, the upshot of all this is that a mile from home, I entered a roundabout traveling North East at about Warp Factor 9 . . . . eyeballed the nervous looking driver who was about to pull out in front of me as I rode from the dry and onto the wet road . . . . and I think managed to maintain eye contact for pretty much the duration of the next 1/4 of a second or so, while the rear wheel tried to overtake me, and I slid from upright-and-cornering-at-speed, so skimming across the road like a pebble. Dang!
The driver was a very nice lady, who got out & helped me up, and made me NOT just jump straight back on the bike. So I was checking myself over (right knee, elbow and hip all gravelled up; no sign of anything more than a light ding on the helmet; couple of nicely bruised finger nails, and an inexplicable bash on my left shin - probably the pedal), and started looking over the bike.
Just then I noticed the blood. I mean like LOTS AND LOTS AND LOTS of blood. It was a good deep arterial red, and sticky with it.
5 seconds of panic later . . . I realised that the lid had popped off the tin of wood stain, and this was now seeping all over the inside of the bag with my shoes in. Thankfully they were in a plastic bag. Although only a little of the stain had spilled, just like real blood, a little goes a very long way. I got some paper towels from the garage forecourt I was next to, and did my best to clean it up. But even so, by the time I’d finished, I looked like I’d spent the afternoon in Battlefield Surgery 101.
Which made for an interesting conversation when I got home. “Hi honey . . . I’m just coming in, but before I do, I want you to know that it looks a whole lot worse than it really is” . . .
- Type: Cycle
- Date: 02/04/2008
- Time: 15:13:01
- Total Time: 1:30:00.00
- Distance: 22 miles
- Average Speed: 14.67 mph