I’ve been doing a lot of bike related things recently, but I hope you’ll allow one more of these posts. Today I rode to work for the first time. It was about 10 miles there at 6:30 this morning, and then 10 miles back at 3:30 this afternoon. Surprisingly, I thought the ride to work was more difficult than the ride back, even though it was about 20 degrees hotter in the afternoon. What was not too surprising though was how awesome my Icebreaker performed. Icebreaker is a New Zealand company that makes t-shirts, crewes, sweaters, pull-overs, long-underwear, you get the picture, out of super soft Merino wool. Seriously, this stuff is the comfiest material ever, doesn’t itch, and breathes fantastically. I never felt either cold or hot on the ride in this morning, even though I was going about 20 mph in 65 degree air. And it was even comfy on the ride back, when it was about 85 degrees. I was impressed.
That wasn’t the only bike-related thing I did today though. I’ve been looking on craigslist for a vintage road bike I could fix up for Amy for a while now. Unfortunately, since Austin is lousy with hipsters, every one you see on Austin craigslist is about $150-200, and is still quickly snatched up to be converted into a fixie by some scarf wearing douche muppet. Thankfully, that is not the case here.
In fact, looking today, I found an awesome bike for $80 bucks, which would have been an extremely reasonable price for a mid-80s Centurion Super Le Mans Mixte. But, since the girl selling it was moving overseas soon, she also just flat out gave me her bike rack (I was going to have to buy one anyway to transport both bikes back to Texas), and her brand new Trek Vapor helmet. So the helmet was worth about $30 bucks, the rack was worth about $30 bucks, aaaaand the bike has brand new Continental Gatorskin tires, which are about 30 bones a pop. 😀
So without further ado, I present Amy’s bike, Bianca.
Plans include giving her a thorough washing to get about 20 years of road grime off, re-wrapping the handlebars with some new cork, installing front and rear fenders, and a basket at the front. 🙂
One last thing, and it’s non-bike related.
So pretty regularly I see terrible drivers. Occasionally I’ll see someone who appears so bad behind the wheel that I think, “Wow, that guy’s going to cause an accident.” Very rarely do I actually get to witness that accident though.
I was driving up to Santa Fe to pick up Bianca (ok, I guess it’s kind of bike-related, but only tangentially) and I notice that the white Pontiac Grand Prix in front of me keeps drifting out of its lane. At one point it was riding down the center line for 6 or 7 seconds before any attempt was made to correct. I passed the car as quickly as I could, and noticed that the driver looked to be a man in his late 70s or 80s. I tried to get farther away from him, but it seemed like he was basing his speed on mine, since he kept within about 10 car lengths. Eventually I gave up, since I didn’t want to somehow “make” this guy go 90.
Fast forward about 40 miles. The guy’s still about 10 car lengths behind me, in the left lane, every few minutes drifting over and hitting the rumble strips. Up ahead I see a massive traffic jam (you can see where this is headed). It looked like a Brinks truck heading south had completely left the interstate, flew across the median ditch, and slammed into the bank on the other side, really ripping up truck, barrier, and bank. Traffic was at a standstill going both directions. As I started to slow I suddenly though to myself, “Oh shit, I hope that old man slows down.”
Right on queue, he whooshed past me at 75. As I watched him careen towards the stopped car I just kept thinking, “PleasestoppleasestoppleasestopHITTHEDAMBBRAKES!!!” Finally, at the last second he must have realized what was about to happend and slammed down his brake pedal. Tires screamed, and whack, he hit the Caddillac in front of him. Thankfully, he was able to slow down enough that nobody was hurt. As I inched my way past I could see the drivers talking, with the old guy looking very shaken and embarrassed.