Car Less Ohio

Promoting the bicycling lifestyle in The Buckeye State

Commute of Silence

Last night, while many throughout Ohio and around the world were commemorating cyclists who have been injured or killed on public roads with the Ride of Silence, I was doing my usual ride home from work. I got rolling early enough that I was thinking if I hustled, I might even make it home before dark. The ride turned a little less than the usual one when, about three and a half miles in, I got a flat tire.

I’ve had my share of flat tires while on group rides, tours, and races, but this was my first (but inevitable) flat that I’ve suffered while commuting. While I was on the side of the road working on getting my wheel off, somebody in one of the cars going by yelled, “Asshole!” out the window. Not sure what prompted that, but whatever. Fortunately, all of my emergency repair items worked as they should, and I was rolling again in ten or fifteen minutes. I don’t write this blog to hawk products, but in case you were curious, in addition to a spare tube, the repair items I carry are the Topeak Road Morph G pump and Topeak Shuttle Lever LS tire levers. So much for beating the dark, though.

As I got closer to home, I was stopped at a red light. I stopped right in the middle of the lane, because I like to give drivers enough room to squeeze past me on the right if they want to turn right on red. Some guy creeped up next to me very close on my left, and yelled, “That’s really safe!” I assumed he was being sarcastic, and I was getting ready to yell back, “It would be a lot safer without you getting up my ass!” As I turned my head towards him, I saw that he was leaning towards me and giving me a thumbs-up gesture as he repeated, “That’s really safe…Safe!” So, I guess he was being sincere and showing his appreciation for my high-visibility accessories, namely my bright Planet Bike Superflash Taillight and my Pearl Izumi Vagabond Jacket in Screaming Yellow.

I finished the last part of my ride along 1.25-mile stretch of the local bike path, without incident except for getting pelted in the glasses and teeth by the numerous clouds of bugs. I think that the bugs are worse along the bike path this year because of the larger-than-usual amount of standing water left in the area after the copious amounts of snow, followed by rain, that we had this year.

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