I've written here many times about my misadventures with "ABC QUICK CHECK." In truth, those problems really validate WHY one ought to be checking stuff and, more often than not, the misadventure consists of finding something before getting 20 miles from home. In my own riding, I include an element usually omitted from lectures on the subject - a little check ride. Before getting on the bike, all systems are checked, as in the video at the bottom of this post. The extra little check ride, before pushing the bike, adds a validation of the basic check by spending just the start of a ride in validating that everything really IS OK. I like redundancy when I can get it and the check ride confirms the results of the basic ABC. Usually.
This morning, it illustrated that the check ride is about more than just the bike. As you know, from my post yesterday on "Second Pass of the Luftwaffe," things are a little slippery around North Texas at the moment. Looking outside, it was apparent that the check ride might be more a test of the road than the bike. For the first time in recent memory, my "A" portion of the "ABC" consisted of letting some air out of the tires to improve traction. To make a short story even shorter, while initally things looked pretty sweet - even to the point that brakes actually slowed things down (something you can't actually check in icy conditions without at least a token check ride and which did NOT happen yesterday), even the mighty P7 light was unable to save me from a fall that busted the plastic cable lock holder (not really a major loss) and caused my chain to jump off the chainwheel. I'm really glad I was riding with my feet OUT of the toe clips. I elected to walk home, as the prospect of touching the freezing chain with bare fingers was less than appealing, as was the prospect of rerailing the chain directly with a gloved hand. It's an advantage of an "around the block" check ride - one need not deal with on-road failures. The light enabled me to find the various bits in the dark, but prudence suggested another Land Rover commute was in order. Still, that check ride opened up the flight envelope a little. Dan G, the LCI demoing the ABC below is fond of noting that we "drive" our bikes. Well, today, I rode it to see if it WAS drivable. That check convinced me that I lacked confidence to operate the bike predictably, traffic or no.
|You KNOW It's a Bad Sign When YESTERDAY's Bike Track is Still Prominent|
|The Local Road Surface This Morning. It May Not be Deep, But it IS Really Slick - Literally|
|I LOVE This Headlight, But it Didn't Save me from a Slick Patch|
|Safety-Oriented Cyclist Concludes that When a Fall Breaks Parts and Knocks the Chain Off the Chainring,|
it Might Be Difficult to Operate Predictably
As in flight test, cycling envelope expansion is sometimes a slow and very incremental process if one values safety. The end objective is the same in either case, to become better. Doncha just LOVE this weather? [insert quote from Gordon Cooper in "The Right Stuff" here, but this blog doesn't use that language]
|Pilot of Northrop F-5E Tiger II Expands the Envelope Incrementally - from Wikipedia|