Posted by: mercieb | January 8, 2010

DOH! (duh)

Ok, it happened yesterday. On beautiful, not-raining, mid-winter day, Camille and I decide to cut out of work early to do an easy road ride. We head out of Kirkland and towards Woodinville via Hollywood Hill. Neither Camille or I are too familiar with the neighborhoods out that direction but Camille has turn by turn instructions and I have the iPhone.

We end up spending a lot of time on the side of the road looking at the paper and the iPhone. While being a very beautiful and rural area, it’s also extremely confusing to navigate with streets that change names at least 3 times in a half mile. No worries… we have plenty of time and it’s just an easy 40 miler. Riiiight.

As we are headed out of King county and into Snohomish county, we stop again to see where the next turn is and how far into the ride we really are. As it becomes apparent we are rapidly running out of daylight and the route is calling for several double-backs and a lot of meandering, we decide to high-tail it back the way we came and take the “short-cut” up and over Novelty Hill (steep as s**t, by the way) into Redmond. We mostly made it back to civilization before it got dark but there were a few hair-raising moments in rush hour traffic on roads with no bike lane and no street lights.

Now you’re asking where our lights were, right? Yeah, well we didn’t have them. With no intention of being out until dark, it didn’t even occur us to bring lights. I know, pretty dumb.

The good news is that we didn’t get squished. While we may have not been smart enough to bring lights, we were smart enough to know when to call for a ride home. We only had to deal with a little razzing from our rescuer and one driver who yelled, “We can’t see you!” which, I thought was funny because if he couldn’t see us, then how’d he know to yell at us? And really, do you honestly think that we don’t know we need lights and if we had them, we would certainly opt for using them? Drivers are funny like that. Always stating the obvious.

So yes, in the winter, take a light with you wherever you go. It can’t hurt and can be very helpful when the ride lasts longer than you planned for. I have these Knog lights which are very easy to put on, stash in a jersey pocket or stick in a saddle bag. They come in a million colors and configurations. In the future, I won’t be leaving home without them… They probably won’t get you down a pitch black trail in the middle of the night but they will help save your butt from getting run over.


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