I wiped out on the bike last week. That makes two times in about six weeks that I’ve ended up on the pavement – not a good record considering I took almost two weeks off from riding during Christmas. Neither accident involved vehicles, luckily. But after sliding down the road on my ass this past Wednesday, I’m feeling slightly less comfortable on the bike.
This time around, I hit a patch of ice in the middle of the road and the bike slid out from underneath me. Before I knew it, I was sliding on my ass down the roadway. By the time I saw the ice, it was too late for me to stop and I couldn’t steer into the other lane because there were vehicles beside me. This was the only ice on my entire 10-mile commute. And why was there a large patch of ice in the middle of the road? Because a certain multi-national fast food chain decided to water their landscaping (and an entire lane of the road) when the temps were below freezing.
Where this happened, there is a city ordinance prohibiting landscape watering when the temperatures are below freezing (and prohibiting excessive overspray). The ordinance allows for a $2,000/day fine. I didn’t call the city though. I simply wrote their corporate legal department a short letter and sent an additional copy to the local restaurant. I haven’t made up my mind as to what I will do if it happens again – hopefully it won’t. Hopefully they will be smart enough to install a $35 freeze sensor onto their sprinkler system.
My bike suffered some minor cosmetic and mechanical damage, but I was able to continue riding to the office. My back got thrown out of place. But probably the biggest effect is that I struggled to ride home that afternoon. I didn’t really want to get back on the bike (but I did). Fear crept in, and that’s not definitely not good. I don’t want to be afraid of my commute.