Sunday, September 13

Blame it on ChipSeal


I don't feel like a teenager as often as I used to. My wife has made the case, not totally without basis, that I'm frozen at six years of age. She still gives me trouble over an incident when, many years ago, my Jaguar E-type died due to a wet distributor after I'd made repeated runs through mud puddles to see how big a splash I could make.
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While at Starbucks this morning, I replied to an email from ChipSeal that Frankenbike had been having fun with the puddles. That got me thinking back on growing up in Seattle. Kids used to make wooden hydroplanes and tow them behind their bikes. Not having wood and string at hand, I figured I could make REAL roostertails on the way home. After all, why have fenders if you don't get your money's worth? I also figured I could test out Big Oak's theory that rain riding washes all the dirt away (if that were true, everyone would have clean cars after it rains). I think it was compounded by a little nostalgia promped by the Durango Texas blog, here. I also contemplated trying a video - hydroplane roostertails are hard to catch in still photos, but the brief camera exposure to the weather quickly convinced me that I'd leave the wet weather videos to Rantwick; an expert on such things.
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Anyway, it was great fun, though I suggest avoiding the really DEEP puddles unless you want to get your feet sopping wet. As the signs on roads that cross creeks around here say, "Turn around, don't drown."
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This is a post that could have had a lot of alternate titles. A few include:
  • "A Whole 'Nother Perspective on Gutter Riding"
  • "Fenders, We Don't Need No Steekin' Fenders"
  • "Gratuitous Arrows in These Pictures"
  • " Must Scotchguard That Cycling Jacket"
  • "Fenders are No Substitute for a Hull and Running Lights"
  • "Tell Me Why I Took That Shower at the Gym Again?"
  • "Love it When There's No Lightning!"
  • "We're Professionals, Don't Try This at Home"
  • "Bike Culture?"
  • "There are No Distributors on Bikes"

8 comments:

Durango said...

Right now I think you can skip from hydroplaning and go right to surfing. I'm seeing some pretty good waves coming down the hill.

Steve A said...

Bardahl RULES!

Chandra said...

Steve,
Cool article (not just because the rain has cooled things a bit!) :)

My daughter and I did this when the creeks in the WRL Trail were over flowing. If fact, some of those things were around 8" deep. We plowed through'em fast and it was a lotta fun!!

We had to wash the mountain bikes after the ride, but what the heck! It was worth it.

Had I been younger, I would have made paper boats/ships and had fun with'em all day!

I too get reminded that I am not 6 any more :)

Peace :)

Rantwick said...

I get some nice foot-deep puddles on the path when our Thames river overflows its banks. I'm usually well into the path and near no detours when I just give up and plow through. Soaked feet, but good times, even on the way to work.

Steve A said...

Do your children criticize your puddle technique?

Foot-deep puddles? Aren't those bad for the bottom bracket?

Lyle said...

Use caution if you don't have good roads. Puddles may harbor potholes. Also, broken glass and sharp stones cut more effectively when lubricated by water.

Filigree said...

I got the "Wee! Puddles!" thing out of my system when I rode through one that concealed a horrid crater of a pot-hole and almost destroyed my bike. I still look at them wistfully though.

Big Oak said...

Well, clean for me is a relative term. For most people it would be "less filthy".

There's nothing wrong with splashing through puddles as long as you are familiar with them.

Splash away!

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