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I said in rec.bikes.tech that I'd post an account of Friday's incident
here, but I don't have the time and energy to do a write-up properly,
and the details have faded, so I'll just re-post Sunday's entry in the
h3 25 October 2015 /h3
[account of walking to church and back deleted.
If curious, go to
⁂ !-- X --
p Friday was a lovely day and we aren't going to
get many more of them.
/pp The question had come up in conversation as to
whether the people in the trailer park on Pioneer
Lane could walk to Sprawlmart; each can be seen
From the other, but can one walk between?
/pp In trying to answer the question with Google Maps
Satellite View, I noticed a dirt road running
from behind Staples toward the trailer park. To
get out of the house, I planned to check out that
road, go on to Big R to see whether they had
corncob litter in stock, stop at Aldi for a
package of cheese, then go to Tractor Supply to
see what sort of bedding they have.
/pp I put thick socks into my pannier in case I found
some shoes I wanted to try on, and put my cleated
shoes into the other pannier in case I decided to
come back from Tractor Supply the long way.
/pp I didn't make it to Aldi.
/pp Things went as planned through Sprawl One and
Sprawl two. I hit both shoe stores, but didn't
see any shoes I'd consider at half the price, so
the socks stayed in the pannier.
/pp I saw a pair of all-polyester leggings in
Carson's, but didn't want to try them on bad
enough to strip out of pinned-at-the-ankle sweat
pants and stretch-to-fit footless tights. It's a
mistake to shop for cycling clothes while wearing
/pp I had a little trouble finding the dirt road; it
isn't behind Staples, but at the end of
InterSprawl Two, and Access Road is marked as a
street on the map; on the earth, it's part of a
parking lot. But I found it, followed it to the
end, and found two huge piles of grass clippings
with a trailer of the sort used to haul lawn
mowers between them. There was a ridge
continuing the road into the trees, and the ridge
had a suspiciously-regular gully in it, as if it
might be a washed-out wheel track. But if it
has ever been a road, it most definitely isn't a
/pp On my way back to Access Drive, I noticed a
beaten path leading to the gap between Staples
and the next group of stores.
/pp I often brag that I can take my road bike
anywhere the boys can take their mountain bikes,
"but I don't guarantee that I'll do it in one
trip". So I took the beaten track, only to
discover that it crosses a ravine. No sweat, I
got off and walked down the steep slope.
/pp Someone had covered the bottom of the ravine with
rip-rap, and it has not yet settled in. The
rocks, moreover, were exactly the wrong size to
provide footing: too big to walk on, too small
to step from one to the next even if one can find
one that isn't rocking and rolling. The bike,
which still wanted to roll down the steep slope
behind me, was little use as a cane.
/pp But I managed to prissy-foot across the riprap
and climb up to the driveway that runs behind
Sprawl Three. I decided to go to Big R by way of
this driveway because it had been years since I
looked for foot paths. I saw lots of critter
paths -- one of which ran through the fence
around the place where Big R stores bags of stuff
-- but none that had been used by anything even
half as big as a human. Checking the map later
showed that I should have been looking behind
/pp When I got to Big R, the driveway suddenly ended.
So I got off and walked along the narrow flat
space, looking down the steep slope on my right
for critter paths, until I emerged on a patch of
lawn behind the cage where Big R stores
weather-resistant merchandise. The gates to the
cage stood ajar, open enough that I could have
squeezed inside, but the padlock on the chain
suggested rather strongly that Big R would rather
I didn't, not to mention that I had no guarantee
that the gates on the other side were unlocked.
/pp So I walked around the cage to the front of --
duh, to the place where the chain-link fence
around the garden center is firmly attached to
the cage. It was quite a long way back by now,
so I decided to walk along the edge of the
parking lot to Frontage Road.
/pp It would appear that the latest person to do this
was me, back in 2001. At one point I had to move
a pile of prunings to continue, and I came out
covered in the seeds of plants that I'd just as
soon not spread around.
/pp In Big R, I discovered that they not only had
corncob bedding in stock, some of the bags were
of a finer grind that is more suitable for cat
litter -- hence the trip on Saturday to get some
before the good stuff is taken. I bought three
bags of litter, a bag of rice, some "appetizer
tongs" for taking hash browns out of the toaster
oven (they have proven excellent for getting
pickled sausage out of the jar too), a bottle of
vegetable juice, and a jar of citric acid.
/pp Finding bedding at Big R took away some of the
motivation for going to Tractor Supply even
though its only a mile farther and Wooster is a
quiet road after it crosses 250 E. Instead of
lunching at MacDonald's, I turned back toward
Taco Bell, planning to have a taco salad and go
/pp There was a pause on the way out of the parking
/pp At the time, I thought it was my fault, but in
retrospect, the driver of the pick-up should have
waited for the intersection to clear before
turning left even though he was turning into a
driveway. On the other hand, I wasn't as alert
as I should have been, presumably because it was
one o'clock and I hadn't had lunch yet.
/pp There was this utterly surreal moment when I knew
that there was nothing I could do to avoid a
collision, a moment when I realized that he would
strike my back wheel and miss me, then I struck
the curb and smashed onto the asphalt.
/pp I always assumed that in a striking-the-curb
fall, one would fall in the direction that one is
already moving, and since to strike the curb one
has to be moving toward it, one would fall
onto the sidewalk (or, in this case, the
landscaping). Something seems to be wrong with
/pp On the other hand, the truck driver pointed at
the curved corner of the curb as the place I
struck, and I fell a full bike-length beyond
that. Pity I can't Google for a report from
someone who has analyzed the mechanics of a
curb-caused crash, but any research into bike
crashes runs into pitchfork-waving helmet
warriors, so even if there is something out
there, it's sure to be tainted.
/pp I presume there was some braking and swerving I
didn't see, because there was no contact between
me or my bike and the truck. Three people were
scared out of a year's growth: Me, the driver,
and a witness. I haven't noticed any damage to
/pp At the scene, I noticed a bruise on my left knee,
and a slight soreness on the left side of my head
from striking the asphalt. (The head pain passed
off before I got home.) Everything seemed to be
functioning, so after we all calmed down, I
remounted and continued on my way. After five or
ten minutes, I noticed that a muscle in my neck
had overworked trying to slow my head. This got
stiff during the night and I've got a rice bag on
/pp When I undressed, I found a small bruise on my
right arm and a small patch of road rash on my
knee a little more than an inch from the
/pp I thought I'd found a really-ugly bruise on my
right arm while washing before church this
morning -- ugly as in I thought it was dirt and
tried to wash it off -- but just now I got a hand
mirror and finally got a good look: it's a
first-degree burn I got in the kitchen a week or
two ago, starting to peel.
/pp When I got to Taco Bell, I realized that I was
almost home, so I kept going. I stopped at the
Trail House and bought a water bottle; I'm not
sure I like the "improvements" to water bottles,
but it does fit the cage.
joy beeson at comcast dot net
The above message is a Usenet post.
I don't recall having given anyone permission to use it on a Web site.
(But it was copied from a Web site.)
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