Friday, April 8, 2011

Let Us Not Forget

I left my helmet at friend's house the other day and my fenders at home.

How does one forget a helmet?  Twice, I've done it now.  It's not so hard in the cooler months when I put on a cap under my helmet.  With the snug fit and the  brim visible over the brow, it's easy to pedal off thinking the helmet is on.

Cautiously, I pedaled off, paranoid that I'd hit some sand or crack and send my skull into a no win altercation with the street.  However, that feeling gave way to a sense of freedom.  Is this what it feels like to ride in Amsterdam?  A couple of potholes and a close pass from a car reminded me that this is Nebraska, and though I may never fall, I really need to keep my noggin protected, just in case.

Yesterday I forgot my fenders and my feet got soaked on the way home from work in the rain.

Fenders seem like an odd thing to forget.  My Earl has these groovy quick release fenders.  These aren't your dad's quick release fenders, with the flimsy rubber straps and thin wire stays that need constant adjustment.  These are sturdy fenders that connect into permanent mounts that stay on the bike.  When the fenders are mounted, they look and feel like permanently installed fenders.

I removed the fenders earlier in the week when it was so windy with 20-40 MPH gusts.  I figured it would be one less thing to catch the wind and slow my commutes.  Well, lazy me, didn't think to remount the fenders before the rain.  Most of me and my gear stayed dry, but I'd forgotten just how much fenders do to keep the feet from getting drenched.

You can see some photos of quick release fender mounts here.

Please share stories of things you've forgotten to bring on a bike ride in the comments below.

1 comment:

munsoned said...

Remember the snow shower we had a week ago Monday? It was warm that morning, however, I was working a late shift. I got off work at 8pm right when the heaviest wettest snow was falling. I rode to work in the warm morning with just a long sleeve button down over a short sleeve button down shrit and slacks. It was, after all, the perfect temp to ride to work wearing what I was going to work in that day.

Snow and cold is another story. I had wool glove liners for my hands and just my regular cycling cap instead of my ear covering winter cap. I usually keep a jacket at work for when I have to walk outside, so that saved my butt.

My hands were frozen solid, my snow drenched slacks didn't provide any warmth for my legs, and my ears felt like the would shatter when I took off my helmet.

As a result, what I did leave at work that evening was my health. I know cold weather isn't supposed to give you a cold, but the very next day, I was feeling feverish. I've had sinus drainage and been hacking up mucus for almost 2 weeks since then. So I learned something.

ALWAYS BRING YOUR WOOL SHIRT!. Since the forcast called for rain yesterday, I brought my wool long sleeve base layer just in case. It was warm in the AM so I didn't need it. However, I felt perfectly comfortable riding home in the rain being soaked. I'm always amazed how well Wool keeps you warm even when wet. And the fact that I was wearing shorts didn't bother me either. My core was so warm, I was good all over.