Saturday, 29 October 2011

The Horizontal Rain

October is a tough month for bicycle commuting.  Here in Ontario, it's the rainy season.  Not passing thundershowers like you get in the summer, but a light misty drizzle that can go on for days.  The weather is still warm enough that I keep using my summer commuter bike.  That's a problem in the rain because boots don't fit properly in the toe clips, so I use shoes, and they get soaked.  Even if it's not raining hard enough to dampen my coat significantly, my feet end up completely sogged from spray off the front wheel. 
The weather can be deceptive too.  I've been hit with a downpour after heading out in what is initailly the typical light mist.  This picture was a day when the mist turned into proper rain through the evening.  It's about 11:30pm here, and I'm on my way home from work.  This night, the wind was gusting up over 50 kph, so I went through downtown rather than be exposed to such high winds on the overpass.  The surrounding buildings provide some protection from the worst of it.  The overpass would be just wild trying to ride through the crosswind and horizontally-moving rain. Now I'm not just that idiot who people see riding his bike at night in the rainstorm.  I'm the idiot who gets off his bike in the rainstorm to take a picture of it. 
Usually my anti-wrap spinning flagpole keeps it flying , but the combination of wind and rain managed to wrap it into a cocoon.  It's a great flagpole.  The bearings have stood up through summer and winter without seizing up.  That was my biggest concern -- that the bearings would suffer water ingress, rust, and then lock up.  It's an expensive pole, so I can't be replacing it every two years if it isn't durable. 

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Me and my racing bike

Port Burwell bluff
This was Oct 8, overlooking Lake Erie at Port Burwell.  The round trip from Ingersoll to Port Burwell is my favourite ride.  It’s mostly quiet country roads, with lightly rolling hills.  There’s a few fun climbs crossing Big Otter Creek, which I cross about four times each direction.  This route, down Delmer line through Straffordville and back along Culliton Road is 110 km. 
The bike is my Scott Speedster S30 which I got last spring.  The odometer recorded 2200 km over the summer.  It’s got new blue handlebar tape since my crash in September.  I’m considering replacing the helmet.  The crash left visible damage, and people are telling me that it needs replaced.  I’m obsessive about reading the directions, terms of service, rules, so of course I know that the manufacturer recommends it.  This picture, however, made me realize that the colour doesn’t match.  That’s a good reason.