My first real ride since the accident also ended up being my first ever late night ride –and cross town no less-- as well as my first opportunity to try out the bike buckets.
Over the past few days friends and family have been doting on me and shepherding me to appointments and places I needed to get, but by Sunday I was feeling well enough to accept an diiner invitation, and to get myself there by bike.
I was really pleased with how my home-made bike buckets worked. The first pair I made fell victim to the car accident before I got the chance to really use them. The new set of buckets worked beautifully and carried an impressive amount, I was able to bring my contribution to the dinner, as well as extra layers for the ride home and my Supper Hero Cape (ok, it's not really a cape, it's this crazy reflective yellow biking poncho that fits over me like a giant tent and looks ridiculous, but also makes me extremely visible at night)
One thing I have noticed about riding with the buckets is that people get out of my way and cars give me a wider berth! The buckets give the effect of a wider profile (although they do not extend beyond the widest part of my handlebars), and just generally lend themselves to a more substantial, commanding presence. I have noticed a significant difference in how much room I am given, both on the street and shared pedestrian/cycle lanes. It's a real added benefit, along with the extra cargo space!
The date went late, and I found myself winding my way home through unfamiliar streets in the middle of the night. I was a little nervous about it at first, especially given that this was both my first real ride since the accident, and my first night time ride, but my bight yellow buckets and bright yellow Supper Hero Cape made me very visible (along with my front and rear lights), and it felt so good to be back on a bike, I arrived back home feeling elated and renewed.
Last Nights Ride: 9 miles
Cumulative Bike Miles Since Febuary 1st: 144
Cumulative Cycling Expenses: $36
Cumulative Cost per Mile: $0.25
Subverting the dominant paradigm: Priceless