Sunday, January 31, 2010

Day 22 - Study Day

Saturday was cold. Real cold. And just plain icy. As we've discussed before, bikes and ice just don't mix well. Cars and ice don't mix well either, so we felt justified in just staying home all day. It was a great chance to get caught up on cleaning, organizing, taxes, laundry, as well as sharpening my skills for the road.

Since the content is quite relevant now, I basically have devoured this book, Urban Bikers Tricks and Tip by Dave Glowacz. Nathan is the more seasoned biker around here so I've had some catching up to do.

I've learned some great tips about handling trouble I could encounter on the road.
Some are very practical:
- How to fix a flat tire. I learned that I can just patch a tire tube and not have to replace the whole tube if the hole is less than the size of a pinhole. Does that ever happen?
- The best way to lock my bike up so it doesn't get stolen. (one of my great fears in life)
- How to not get hit while riding next to cars. (Also one of my great fears in life)
- How to cross railroad tracks safely by going across them at a right angle.
- How to be visible while riding at night.
- How to rub a cut potato on your glasses to keep them from fogging up. (We tried this; it didn't seem to help)
- How to prevent helmet hair by #1) weaing a bandanna or scarf under your helmet or #2) getting a perm. No way on God's green earth am I going to get a perm.

Some information I will hopefully never have to use:
- How to ride up and down stairs. That sounds like a stupid idea.
- How to treat a bad scrape- by picking out any glass and debris then scrubbing it well. Yuck...
- How to dress for rain, cold and snow. Oh wait, I unfortunately already know how to do that.
- Managing to wear long dresses or skirts on your bike commute by tucking the bottom into a belt. Obviously, this book is written by a man. That's all I have to say.

He also has tips for the advanced or "sly" riders. I can't condone any of these.
- How to go through yellow lights
- How to "skitch" a ride from a vehicle by grabbing onto part of the car and letting it pull you up a hill or through wind. (Mom, I promise I won't ever do this)
- Handling conflict with motorists by throwing water in their face and hitting their windshield in a particular spot that would possibly shatter it. Also he describes how to run away from a car that is chasing you after you do those things.

So much information, so little time. I'm learning so much these days. Of course, the most ingrained lessons are those I'm learning from the School of Hard Knocks.
- Watch out for the asphalt chunks next to the potholes. Those will get'cha too.
- Always bike with someone who can change a flat. It's a long way home walking.
- There is an amazing difference between 20 degrees and 35 degrees. Either your fingers can fall off or not.


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