I make one tiny little joke about preventable death, and then I nearly experience one…
I was cycling in to my first class this morning when I was nearly run down by a young motorist who was wisely watching for other cars on the street as she made a turn into traffic–and unwisely not watching for anything else. She did eventually stop. I’m not sure whether it was my polite manly screams or the crunch of my bike’s rear wheel under her car that led her to realize this wasn’t a routine turn. (I hope it wasn’t a routine turn for her.)
She was most apologetic, and I was undamaged and even the bike escaped relatively unharmed. The rear wheel is now bent like a banana but the rest of it seems to be in good shape.
And, as it happens, I have another ruined bike I can cannibalize for a rear wheel. I was biking around campus during winter break when the pedal-shaft of my bike actually snapped. My explanation for this is that my powerful, classically trained thighs exert a force that mere carbon steel cannot be expected to withstand. My son’s rather skeptical reply was that “there must have been some corrosion” (which is, unfortunately, supported by an examination of the broken shaft).
So I plan to use the rear wheel from Bike A to repair Bike B and get back on the road fairly soon.
Maybe this isn’t such a great idea, though. Powerful cosmic forces seem to be aligning against my biking on or near the campus. But as long as the weather isn’t among them, I guess I’ll keep giving it a shot.