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Old 11-17-05, 11:48 PM   #1
mechBgon
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Since I had to ride back to the office tonight, I thought "hey, I'll go south to Hatch Road, down the descent to the highway, and ride into downtown via the highway, and get a few extra miles in the peaceful foggy night."



So I get up there to where Hatch Road splits off and dives down the side of the valley, perhaps a 400-foot/120m drop to the floor of the valley. Wooo, foggy! So I start down the hill on this curvy, unlighted two-lane road with no shoulder. The fog line is my friend, and so is my Flamethrower HID.

As I descended, the fog rapidly got much thicker. And a person in a sporty car decided he MUST overtake the red blinking thing a few hundred meters ahead. And I begin to realize that if my Flamethrower HID were to burn out just now, I'd be in Big Trouble™ As it was, there are some places where the fog line vanishes due to right-turn lanes leading into housing developments. AND THAT DASM CAR IS GETTING CLOSER, and we're going about 30mph/50kph through almost pea-soup fog on this curvy road. If my primary headlight burned out, I'd be down to my (LOL) useless little Cateye Opticube, which would probably do a great job of showing the ambulance crew where to find my body

Anyway, thanks to my knowing the road, and the Flamethrower graciously deciding not to burn out, I made it. We hit an area where the fog was almost gone and the person in the car HAD to zoom past (and then brake hard). And on to the highway and downtown.

I guess I re-learned the lesson that I already know from mountain biking at night: redundant, fully-independent light systems are a good thing sometimes (the Opticube does not really qualify here). Once my dual-beam halogen system is back from repair, I'm at least reinstalling its handlebar mount, and will install it to back up the Flamethrower the next time I feel like tempting Fate in this fashion.

You know, this is all Underwear Nazi's fault. This is the first time this year I've worn my cycling shorts, and look what happens


(update: I did survive the ride home, LOL... 15 miles total. Time for a sandwich. )

(update #2: mysteriously, the sandwich was made entirely of chocolate ice cream )

Last edited by mechBgon; 11-18-05 at 01:08 AM.
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Old 11-18-05, 09:20 AM   #2
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You know you can take the lane, forcing the car behind you to stay behind you, thereby illuminating your ride down if your are THAT concerned about your light going out.

I have never had a light suddenly go out- they usually dim- although one of my lights has a bad connection to the battery, so a good jolt will extinguish it until it is wiggled back in place.
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Old 11-18-05, 09:50 AM   #3
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That's true, as long as I can find the lane If I could do it again, upon realizing that there was a motorist determined to overtake me, I would drop my speed to about 15mph so he could pass, and pull into one of the right-turnout lanes to help provide the room if needed.
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Old 11-18-05, 10:39 AM   #4
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Those rides you shouldn't really do but do anyway are always memorable. Mine was riding to meet my wife through the middle of a monsoon dust storm. 50mph cross/headwinds and managed to get to the rendevous point just as the rain started. I had sand in just about every crevice. Glad I had my bandanna handy that day to filter the larger particles, looked like a biking bandit as I rode along. Visibility was extremely limited and maintaining a line was really difficult.
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