Since I last posted, I’ve still been commuting daily, and Tweeting (@soulsidedown), the sun has returned, and heat has arrived. Yet, the rain did not go quietly. I, for the first time in recent memory, had to seek cover from a storm last week. The wind alone was a bully as the storm moved in, but when those first rain drops started falling from the sky like hydro-spears, it was time to seek protection. I found fire station and hunkered under the awning. A small break allowed me to continue home, but more rain was just waiting.
The sun and heat that have finally arrived are most welcome, at least for me. The low humidity and heat reminded me of my time in southern Utah. I smiled. I also had my first day of crazy driver zombies, which happened to be yesterday. The couple of days of heat has melted the brains and patience of those zombies in their automobiles. First off, they don’t want to wait for each other. That’s bad enough, with their honking horns and speeding around and in front of each other, but if you’re a human on a bike, they’re even less tolerant, and more apt to lash out. So now, not only am I hyper aware of Car Zombie Wednesday, I am having to ego check myself, hard, so I don’t become road kill. Remember kids, bike vs car = bike loses!
My first encounter was a double scoop of joy. I was pedaling minding traffic, having noticed the crazies, when I come up to a car waiting to turn left from on coming traffic. He saw me decides to go, stops, I brake to swerve, he goes again, cutting me off, I drop my head a bit not believing what Car Zombie just did. He then shouts at me an inquiry, “What’s your problem, huh?” I ignore this and pedal on, half expecting him to come back around the block for some odd reason. Nope.
Second wasn’t as dramatic, just someone with zero patience, puuling out in front of me. The good thing about those two encounters, is that they lit the fire under my butt to get new brake pads. More on that in a bit. The third and final Car Zombie encounter was actually a mini van of four CZs, two adults and two shirt less juveniles. I first came upon them at my second to last stop light before hitting the cemetery. I pulled up next to them at the red light, and I could feel eyes upon me, but I’m used to that. No worries here. Well, light turns green we take off, me faster than them, I get just past the I70 overpass and as they go by, ice and unidentified beverage remains come flying out of the vehicle and hit me on my arms and hands. First thought goes through my head “fu*kers!” They’re in a car, I figured them long gone, but nope they get stopped at the next light. All sorts of stuff is going through my head about what to say, my adrenaline is going, but I catch myself and pull an ego check. “Chill” I think to my self. I decide to take the non-violent route and not create any unnecessary bad bike karma. I roll up next to them eye the juvenile CZs in the back, see an older female in the passenger seat and an adult male CZ driving. I ignore them, that is until one of the juveniles says “hot enough out there for ya?” This is where I failed. I turn just a bit to my left and tell them to “fu*ck off!” I unclipped from my pedals just in case a door was to open, but they said no more. Light turned green, and as the van drives by, the distressed lady says ” I didn’t do that” in reference to the iced beverage. She knows her spawn are asses, I feel sorry for her. The rest of the ride home was chill. All safe!
Now for the new brakes. I’ve had an inkling that I have been in need of new brakes for far too long, and the near hits I had yesterday, brought it right front and center. I bought some new breaks at a local bike shop called Paradise Garage. The staff is always helpful and knowledgeable. I located the brake pads, spoke with a shop associate, who remarked at how worn my pads were. Yes, I am a lil bit embarrassed, I should have gotten new ones sooner. I picked up two sets of Velo Orange pads for $24 and installed them on my ride, made all the adjustments, and now I actually stop as opposed to slowing down. Sweet! Lesson learned.
I’ve created a page called Soul Product Reviews, in which I’ll, for the time being, inconsistently post reviews of products I purchase with my own cash and use in conjunction with my commutes. Keep an eye out for my review of the Velo Orange pads in the future.
Now for my last bit of rambling. I love music, all kinds, and I would like to share a new discovery of mine with you. The band is called Listener, and what they do defies definition or genre pigeon holing. What it is, is all heart, passion, and unique. The first song I heard was Listener “Ozark Empire or A Snake Oil Salesman Comes to Town” click the link to peep a brilliant song. If you dig, they are on tour, so peep their website: http://www.iamlistener.com for dates. I’m hoping to catch them here in Columbus.
I’ve taken up enough of your time. Thanks for stopping by, Patrick SSD Crew
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