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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Moe.Ville, Fall Guy, Looking Back

12/19/12 237# 27M
A pretty nice day after a few days of rain.

Started at the north end of Neville Island at Robert Morris University's ice skating facility. Rode south along Neville Island, intercepted Route 51 South onto the mainland. Almost immediately I came upon this van in McKees Rocks, and the Moe.Ville sticker caught my eye.

I have a friend that people call Mo, and I think that the sticker refers to a Buffalo-based band called Moe.. According the their website, they have a Moe.Down, a Moe.Cruise, they call their FAQ's a Moe.Ment, so the formulation Moe.Ville is pretty close.

Anyway, when you start taking pictures of a van with Jersey plates in McKees Rocks, people come out and ask questions, and the second question they asked was "do you have an extra cigarette" which I thought was a funny question to ask a guy on a bicycle. I should have spent a few minutes patting down my spandex and then said, Damn no I left them in my other panniers. It was a funny question from a 20-year old, back in the day it would have made sense.

Continued down to Station Square, and on to the Hot Metal Bridge. Turned left/east at the HMB and then left again onto the Jail Trail. Rode the Jail Trail to the Smithfield Street Bridge, north onto Route 51.

Where I fell. Arrgghhh. Right where 51 crosses the West End Bridge, and the through traffic passes on a lower level, there's one lane and I'm riding near the curb because I didn't need to take the lane. There were a few small puddles on the right from the rain that stopped last night.

One of those puddles apparently connected to the Marianas Trench, because my front wheel went down into it and a moray eel grabbed it and I went OTB (over the bars) and the rear wheel mostly came up and over with me. I think it startled the drivers in the vicinity.

The bike was OK, all the stuff was good, and the mostly-water rolled off the winter kit I was wearing pretty fast. After I got me and my stuff out of the lane (I ended up taking the lane after I fell) I wondered, how did I get that wrong?

I was not riding defensively, I was being complacent, I had a milk-run attitude, I was thinking inside-head instead of outside-world. I was definitely not being mindful and being in-the-moment.

One good thing about winter falls is that you scrape your clothes rather than your legs. Back on the bike, 51 North to McKees Rocks, Neville Island to the ice hockey facility. Very nice ride, trying to learn from the fall. 27 miles.

Found an email from a friend alerting me to this item from Hammacher Schlemmer:

The Bicycle Rearview Camera This is the camera system that mounts to a bicycle for providing a clear view of the road behind. The 2 1/4" W x 1 1/2" H camera mounts to a bicycle's seat post, provides a rear-facing 75º field of view ideal for seeing approaching vehicles or other cyclists. A 78 3/4" zip-tied cable that accommodates any frame geometry connects the camera to the handlebar-mounted 3 1/2" TFT color monitor (fits bars up to 1 1/4" diameter); quick-release mechanism removes the monitor easily from handlebars for charging. A circular pattern of red LEDs flash when the camera's built-in sensor detects low-light conditions for visibility to traffic. Fully weather- and vibration-resistant. The camera system's rechargeable battery provides up to 10 hours of operation from a two-hour charge using the included AC adapter. (1 lb.)

1 comment:

  1. The thing that scares me about commuting on busy roads, especially after dark (which is new to me), is that I need total external attention every moment. It's a little like riding my fully-rigid dirt road touring bike on single track. A moment's inattention could mean broken bones. I'm not the most mindful of guys to begin with; I love to think inside-the-head thoughts, it's reflexive for me. Working on that, I guess.