Powersliding Ain’t Easy: Prepare to Laugh

My bike has been a lot of trouble this year. Even before this powersliding fiasco. Something about sitting in the lock up all winter really made it get out of shape. I’ve had to set the rear wheel twice and then decided to take it to the shop. On the night I got it back, I happened to shove my bike into some metal fencing we have in the bike lock up. My bike simply stood there for a moment. Impaled as it was, I was hopeful that all would be fine. After airing my tire up the next day and enjoying the latex scented breeze gushing from the gash in my tire, I took it to a another shop.

After that, my bike seemed fine and, as of this writing, it still is. So I hit the road like some post apocalyptic warrior clad in metaphorical leather with a hipster bike and a safety green helmet. I cruised all over the town. Not having any destination, like a rebel without a cause and obeys traffic regulations. I’d ridden about ten kilometers before the harbinger showed up.

I was flying down a vacant paved bike line when I became thirsty. Wanting to maintain speed for the upcoming hill, I kept pumping my legs as I pulled out my bottle. The plastic flavored water sucked, but it was something. Then I tried to put the bottle away. Legs still pumping. Speed and course maintained. The hill was going to be a breeze! I was so proud that I was already having the conversation with my cyclist friends about how cool I was. It was a certainty that they would hoist me upon their shoulders and carry me through the cubicles. Ode-laly! Ode-laly!

Plastic bottles make some funny sounds as they hit the ground and shoot out from under a rear bike wheel. I slammed on my brakes. As I did so, I passed over a dusting of, well, dust. My rear wheel slid a bit, causing the back of my bike to scooch around and my heart to go all aflutter with the joy and excitement of powersliding. Twenty years have had to have passed since I felt such joy. I felt like a bearded nine year old. The simplicity of it all. Go fast! Hit brakes! Slide! Put your foot down! Do it again.

I shoved the bottle into its holder with the certainty of a half-elven ranger sheathing an ancestral blade after saying something particularly cheeky and rode off. Not knowing my fate had been sealed. After another ten kilometers, I came upon a sign indicating location filming was taking place. It’s fluorescent arrow simply pointed down a dirt road. Usually, I won’t go out of my way, but this time, it was for a show that I truly love. I had to check it out, even if it was Sunday and I was sure there was no filming taking place.

The crickle-crackle of dirt and rocks kept me company as I began to wind my way down the lonely road. I was careful to avoid the potholes and rocks that were too large to ride over. When I came to the fork in the road, instead of choosing one of the prongs, I decided to go back. There was no filming happening, not that day anyway.

I’d picked up a fair amount of speed and thought I’d give powersliding another try. This time I could really give it hell. Surrounded by dirt, how could I not slide for miles and miles? Quite easily in fact! I’d slid for about two seconds before things went awry. Gravity was coming to collect on the cheque I’d written, fully prepared to make my body cash it. There was nothing I could do but put my hand down and land on my knee.

I was up in a flash, trying to play it cool. While it was a dirt road, I wasn’t even a hundred meters away from a popular bike lane. I’d hoped no one saw me or the cloud of dust I’d kicked up. With that, my skinned hand a knee throbbed the last twelve kilometers home. Powersliding was out of my system.

via Powersliding Ain’t Easy: Prepare to Laugh – Sweatpants Life

Advertisements

Powersliding Ain’t Easy: Prepare to Laugh


My bike has been a lot of trouble this year. Even before this powersliding fiasco. Something about sitting in the lock up all winter really made it get out of shape. I’ve had to set the rear wheel twice and then decided to take it to the shop. On the night I got it back, I happened to shove my bike into some metal fencing we have in the bike lock up. My bike simply stood there for a moment. Impaled as it was, I was hopeful that all would be fine. After airing my tire up the next day and enjoying the latex scented breeze gushing from the gash in my tire, I took it to a another shop.

After that, my bike seemed fine and, as of this writing, it still is. So I hit the road like some post apocalyptic warrior clad in metaphorical leather with a hipster bike and a safety green helmet. I cruised all over the town. Not having any destination, like a rebel without a cause and obeys traffic regulations. I’d ridden about ten kilometers before the harbinger showed up.

I was flying down a vacant paved bike line when I became thirsty. Wanting to maintain speed for the upcoming hill, I kept pumping my legs as I pulled out my bottle. The plastic flavored water sucked, but it was something. Then I tried to put the bottle away. Legs still pumping. Speed and course maintained. The hill was going to be a breeze! I was so proud that I was already having the conversation with my cyclist friends about how cool I was. It was a certainty that they would hoist me upon their shoulders and carry me through the cubicles. Ode-laly! Ode-laly!

Plastic bottles make some funny sounds as they hit the ground and shoot out from under a rear bike wheel. I slammed on my brakes. As I did so, I passed over a dusting of, well, dust. My rear wheel slid a bit, causing the back of my bike to scooch around and my heart to go all aflutter with the joy and excitement of powersliding. Twenty years have had to have passed since I felt such joy. I felt like a bearded nine year old. The simplicity of it all. Go fast! Hit brakes! Slide! Put your foot down! Do it again.

I shoved the bottle into its holder with the certainty of a half-elven ranger sheathing an ancestral blade after saying something particularly cheeky and rode off. Not knowing my fate had been sealed. After another ten kilometers, I came upon a sign indicating location filming was taking place. It’s fluorescent arrow simply pointed down a dirt road. Usually, I won’t go out of my way, but this time, it was for a show that I truly love. I had to check it out, even if it was Sunday and I was sure there was no filming taking place.

The crickle-crackle of dirt and rocks kept me company as I began to wind my way down the lonely road. I was careful to avoid the potholes and rocks that were too large to ride over. When I came to the fork in the road, instead of choosing one of the prongs, I decided to go back. There was no filming happening, not that day anyway.

I’d picked up a fair amount of speed and thought I’d give powersliding another try. This time I could really give it hell. Surrounded by dirt, how could I not slide for miles and miles? Quite easily in fact! I’d slid for about two seconds before things went awry. Gravity was coming to collect on the cheque I’d written, fully prepared to make my body cash it. There was nothing I could do but put my hand down and land on my knee.

I was up in a flash, trying to play it cool. While it was a dirt road, I wasn’t even a hundred meters away from a popular bike lane. I’d hoped no one saw me or the cloud of dust I’d kicked up. With that, my skinned hand a knee throbbed the last twelve kilometers home. Powersliding was out of my system.


Bike Nuts, The Gun Nuts of the West Coast!

There seems to be three kinds of people in this world: people who love guns, people who love cycling, and people who don’t give a flip about either. At the moment I belong to the third group. However, I have been teetering around the border of the cycling enthusiast group for a while now. What is it that has been holding me back from taking the plunge? Dressing like an aerodynamic dork for one. Followed by my lack of a sense of superior ownership of the road. A sense that apparently needs to be ten times greater than the one possessed by motorists. I love the smell of burning rubber!

I live in British Columbia. In the part that is pretty much always warm. At least warm enough to don some full legged and armed tights and hit the road. Perhaps there are four days a year that are too snowy to exercise outdoors. Look, we can pretty much get out and do whatever we want, whenever we want.

For this reason we have a lot of cyclists. A lot a lot! Sure there are some that are really good. Those who follow the rules, come to complete stops, and use proper hand signals. I have probably driven passed one and simply ignored them because they were so good. However, for every one of those cyclists there seemingly has to be a zillion terrible cyclists. I mean how could there not be. It rains in Vancouver all the freakin’ time. And Much like a mogwai, when good cyclists get wet, other cyclists start shooting off their backs. Then all it takes is the one with the douchebag haircut (I know, like there will be only one, right?) to get them to eat after midnight.

Ta-da, bad cyclists! Hot rodding on sidewalks, popping wheelies through crosswalks, and using Idaho stops even though we don’t live in the great state of Idaho or have the procedure legalized – although we should. In other words, being a vehicle yet behaving like a pedestrian. Either they are uneducated or, worse yet, educated and simply do not care.

To add to the hot mess, no one else knows what the hell cyclists are supposed to do either. Pedestrians and cars just roll the dice and scream “Evasive manoeuvres!” every time they have an encounter with cyclists. Cyclists do the same. Although they shouldn’t when it comes to pedestrians. I don’t care about crushing records or maintaining momentum. Pedestrians get the right of way!

With all of this in mind – and the fact that the city needs money – it is no wonder that the city council is proposing bike licenses. Although, educating may be simpler and all that is truly required. Education on everyone’s part. Pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers should all know the rules. Hell why not throw in some motor vehicle rules as well. Like how a freaking four way stop works!

On the other hand, licensing could open the way for insurance, which I do believe cyclists should have. There are a lot of them and they are all uninsured. If an accident happens it is up to the other persons insurance or pocket to fix it.

I don’t know if there should be a difference between athletes, commuters, and casual cyclists. I don’t even know how to enforce it. I also don’t know how six year olds who are learning to ride are going to be licensed. I don’t even know if kids ride bikes anymore or just hang out inside for five minutes between piano lessons, soccer, karate, art, hockey, and school. Honestly, it sounds like a logistical money pit!

What I do know is that when news of licensing got out, the arguments sounded similar to those of gun enthusiasts. “You can’t take my bike!” “Good luck licensing me!” “You’ll never take me alive coppers!” Were all yelled at the top of the gluten free, physically fit warriors lungs as they stormed city hall with rolled up yoga mats. Prepared for glorious battle. Prepared to ride the bike lanes of the afterlife.