How Do You Spell Wet?
Remember those Rolaids commercials back in the day? The spots that asked “How do you spell relief?” (The answer was R-o-l-a-i-d-s!!)
Well, I could do that with the word ‘wet’. (s-o-a-k-e-d) While it didn’t outright pour during my ride home, it did drizzle constantly. The jacket I wore? Not water resistant. It was pretty much plastered to my arms & chest. My shoes? Vented, so my dogs can breathe! But what lets air out also seems to let water in. A lot. There was one point, about 6.5 miles in where a car was being nice and letting me get ahead before it made a right turn. I stood on my pedals and dug in, trying to accelerate out of the cars way. I happened to look at my feet for a crank or two and saw water gushing out of my shoes toe vents as I pushed down hard on the pedals. That was kind of weird.
Really, my feet weren’t too bad until about two miles in. I was on a service road that runs parallel to a 4 lane road. For some reason, I thought I heard a car behind me, so I skooched (I added skooched to my dictionary, so it’s a word now. Feel free to use it at your leisure.) to the right. Up to that point, my feet were really only wet from the tire spray. That rooster tail thingy you see from pinning wet tires? Yeah – it sprays right against the front frame member of the bike. From there, it spreads sideways – where it splashes against your feet on every pedal stroke. That’s not so bad, until you get forced through a puddle. Then the light, misty spray turns into Niagara Falls. That’s pretty much what happened on that service road.
At least it was comfortably warm temperature wise. Low – mid 60’s, which is good if you’re working hard – and I was. In spite of the rain & wet pavement, I managed t average 18mph on the way home – aided considerably by an unusual ENE wind. It wasn’t a hard wind – maybe only 4 or 5 mph. But that’s also usually a head wind, not a tail wind on the way home, so it was an effective 10mph difference in wind speed. Me likey!
Cars were more polite than usual too. I mentioned the one driver that actually waited for me to clear out of the way before she made a right turn. A couple other cars waited to make their left turn at intersections when usually they try to beat me. Surprisingly, bikes can be pretty quick in those first 30 feet. If you try to get the jump on a biker, you’ll probably get the biker instead.
I also badly underestimated how bad my brakes would work. For the first 4 miles or so, I either only had to slow down to make a turn, or I had to stop at a light at the top of a rise. The first tie I had to stop on the flats was at an intersection where I needed to make a left. After checking traffic behind me, I moved over to the left turn lane. Once in the lane, I down shifted a few times so I’d be in a good gear to start out. I squeezed my brake handles as I glanced down to verify which gear I was in. When I looked up, I was about 10 feet away from the rear bumper of a Chevy S10. All I could do was veer to the right and try to stay on the lane marker stripe. I finally came to a stop about even with the truck’s passenger door. I looked at the driver and mouthed a big “WOW!” He laughed, which kinda made me think he watched it all in his mirrors.
The last nasty bit? Leaves. It’s fall. That’s what leaves do in the fall. The roads weren’t too bad, but I also do a couple miles on the Erie Canal Trailway. Much of that is cut through the heavily treed right of way alongside the canal. The poplar trees are dropping their leaves at a frantic rate right now, and they are coating the canal path. Wet leaves are slicker than snot on a glass door knob. The arts of the trail that wound through the trees were bordering on treacherous. Even going straight was kinda squirrely. I was actually glad to get back out on the road, in spite of the traffic.
Once home, I went straight into the garage. I peeled off my not-waterproof jacket and hung it from a nail on the garage loft joists. I peeled off my shoes & socks. I think I wrung about 3 or 4 ounces of water out of each sock. Left quite a puddle on the garage floor. I took the liners out of the shoes, pulled the tongues out and tried to splay them open to dry. Hope they’re close by Wednesday. Everything else I peeled off inside and tossed right into the washer. Cindy loves it when I peel my clothes off like that and hike through the house nekkid to get upstairs & shower. Maybe I should consider installing an outdoor shower. Hmmmmm. Tempting.
Counseling tonight. Couples, not 1 on 1. I need to figure out how to bring up how I was feeling Sunday. I am also feeling the urge to start pressing Cindy for progress – or at least some self awareness on her part. She’ll take issue with many things about my behavior seemingly not aware that she is guilty of the same behavior herself. From my perspective, I feel I’ve modified quite a few behaviors. Somehow, I want to get her to understand it’s her turn. One of those ‘you have to give some to get some’ moments.