Friday, April 18, 2014

Light rain & Heavy crashes

I don't think I have mentioned it yet on the blog but I have been riding as a bike courier for a company called Postmates. They are a delivery company, mostly for food. It is an interesting service. If you live in New York, San Francisco, or Seattle, check them out. Usually my job is to stop at a restaurant and pick up and order and deliver it.

So far it has generally been pretty fun. It isn't all crazy riding a bike like a madman through traffic. It pays to be fast, but it is more important to be smart. Navigation and planning are absolutely crucial to getting stuff where it need to go on time. Basically, if you are blowing through red lights to make a run, you messed up your planning. For the most part this makes it pretty safe.

Until Tuesday that is. I picked up an evening shift starting at 6:00 PM and it was dead slow. Took almost an hour before I got my first job. After that things started to pick up. Then it started to rain. I don't really mind, but it had been a couple of weeks since the last good rain. All of the oil came to the surface and make the roads slippery like ice.

And I chose to go down Denny. Remember what I said about choosing the right roads? Don't chose the steepest streets when it rains like that. I was trying to be careful though. I was trying to go slow, but it was hard on that grade. I was also trying to be cautious of objects in the road. There was a metal expansion joint for the bridge over I-5 that I didn't wan to slide out out. I did that fine, only to look up to see the car in front of me at a dead stop. I grabbed the brakes and started skidding out. I landed on my butt and slid another ten feet on the pavement. It is an odd feeling to know that you are just sliding along the road and can't do anything until you have stopped. I got up calmly, walked my bike over to the sidewalk. A girl came over and asked if I was okay. Other than some scrapes I was fine. My bike was fine too. I am glad I wasn't carrying an order at the time though.

In the end, it turned out okay. I was actually able to finish out my shift. Got another couple of orders in. But the title of this post was about crashes, plural. I crashed again going home. Who puts trolley tracks a the bottom of a steep grade? Thanks SDOT. That time my tire slid out the opposite way though and I landed on my elbow. I think I even cracked a rib or two.

Needless to say I crawled to bed that night very sore. I am hoping for less rain in the next couple of days. I am also going to avoid tracks and steep hills.


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