I got home from work, let the pups run for a few minutes while I filled my water bottle and got my helmet. OK, wearing my helmet would be the last good decision I’d make that night. I put the pups away and took off. Because I knew I was going to be running low on daylight I decided to ride “light”…no rack bag and only the one water bottle. No big deal, I can get a refill when I get to CK’s house. Off I went.
The ride was rough at best, there was a bit of a head wind, but it wasn’t that bad. Still I was struggling to keep a 12 mph pace, even down hills seemed slow. My first real issue came when I hit a road closure I didn’t know about. This required me to back track about two miles and go around. When I was roughly a mile from CK’s house I realized I was going to run out of daylight if I went all the way there, it was also at that point that I realized my headlight and reflective jacket were in my rack bag…in my Jeep. I also realized that I had no ID of any kind, no wallet and no Road ID. My water bottle was almost empty and I figured out why the ride was so hard, my times were low. Yes, I carry an air pump, but…you guessed it… in my rack bag…in my Jeep!
Now a smart person would say…go the last mile to CK’s house and call it a day. I was serious when I said the helmet was the last good decision I’d make! I was short on mileage on a ride last week; I wasn’t going to come up short on this ride too! I turned around and headed for home! Because of my little detour I would still be able to hit my miles. The bugs came out en masse about mile 16 and I had no eye protection, I ran out of water about mile 18 and I ran out of daylight about mile 28.
I couldn’t see anything! I do have reflectors and a flashing tail light on the bike which are a plus, but the only time I could see in front of me was when cars would pass me. Did I mention that my bike is black? And did I mention that I live on an extremely busy road? Now might also be a good time to mention that I routinely break one major cycling rule, I ride with headphones in. Kids…DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME!!!
When I finally got home I got my good air pump and checked my tires, they should be at about 80psi, I was at 22psi…I was basically riding on flats! I stood in my garage and recounted my serious safety violations:
- I didn’t check the bike before I left
- I left all of my evening riding gear in the Jeep
- I left all of my tools in the Jeep
- I rode a black bike at night
- I had no ID of any kind
- I had inadequate fluids
- I had no eye protection
- I was wearing head phones
- At no point did I notify anyone that I was having any issues
In my mind I tried to decide which of my friends would beat the hell out of me first…CK, who I’ve seen and think I’ve told, MK, who I know I told, but haven’t seen or KB who I haven’t seen or told! I feel the need to say that this is TOTALLY out of character for me; I’m a normally a ridiculously safe rider.
Side note, I’ll let you know if any of my friends beat the crap out of me for this insanity! =)