Monday

Night Rider

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

3 comments:

steve said...

I see the same thing with panniers - as soon as I start riding with panniers I get more space on the road. A flash flag is also tempting.

Night time is my favourite time to ride, especially in summer - there's nothing like a 3am ride around a deserted city to realise how great it would be without all the cars! Reflective tape helps a lot for the cars that are out there; I have a friend who runs his own signage business, he supplied me with an extra-long roll of reflective tape for CDN$40 or so. I think he can get shorter rolls for less, too - I just wanted the extra tape so I could add a reflective stripe to all my bikes. He can get all colours (including black, which goes nicely on all the fenders) but they're not listed on his site - you have to email him directly (tell him I sent you, if you want to get some).

griffin said...

Hi Steve, thanks so much for the refective tape resource! I cant tell you how many times I have looked at refective signs or street cones or whatever and wished I could get my hands on some of that stuff.
Sunday was my first night ride, but I think I might be hooked :) You are so right about the empty streets!

Leighton, Owner, Floating Point Digital Images said...

'lo,
The material Steve is talking about is 30ft long, 1" wide, black and is $35 plus S+H. The coloured versions are what they use for pin-striping ambulances, police cars, that kind of thing - so it's not Mickey Mouse quality and if needed it's available in other lengths/widths/colours.

Steve is right in that it isn't available directly off of my website (www.fpdimages.com), but if you or anyone else is interested write me back:

leighton@fpdimages.com

...and I'll set you up an online payment - no trouble.

Take care,

Leighton, Owner, Floating Point Digital Images
403 510 4793