March 25, 2010

Me versus RAV4. Winner? Draw.

Filed under: cars, cycling — Tags: , , , — nekoball @ 8:04 PM

After two years of incident free cycling, I finally had my first “run in” with a car. Literally. Yesterday, Wednesday after work at 6:30PM, I was heading Southbound on Moffett Blvd. in Mountain View taking the same route I take everyday to get to and from Caltrains and Moffett Field. I was riding the Felt at a relaxed Z1 pace and had my hands placed at the corner of the tops. I crossed the Middlefield intersection while the signal light was green for the left turners so I cleared all the cars that were continuing on Moffett. Looking down the road, there were no cars, but I noticed a group of cyclists heading in the opposite direction. They made a left turn into the plaza and were likely headed for Los Portales for a post ride bite. After noting the riders, my mind either zoned out or I looked down because as I approached this driveway, a white/silver Toyota RAV4 suddenly turned right in front of me AND STOPPED.

With my hands not on my hoods or drops, I couldn’t grab a handful of brake so I swerved to the right into the parking lot. I heard “F****CK” come out of my mouth and “wOOOOOOH” out of one of the other rider’s right before my leg ran into the RAV4’s fender/tire and bounced off. Yes bounced off.  Luckily, the RAV4 left enough driveway for me to ride into the lot otherwise I would have either 1.) ran straight in it or 2.) ran into a curb and endo’d…

Slightly in shock, I looped the parking lot and rode back to the curb. One of the cyclists suggested that I come in for a beer, which wouldn’t have been a bad idea had I not been on my way to meet up with Thomas. The RAV4 had driven off somewhere else in the parking lot, and since I did not really have anything nice to say to the driver, I just rode off lucky to get away without incident.

In retrospect, after totally cutting me off, the RAV4 probably had to stop to yield to the other cyclists going through the parking lot-right in front of my path of travel. I was probably a bit zoned out too, but I suppose I got off lucky… Lets hope I’ve hit my car incident quota for the year.

PS: Did I really write that much (and spend that long writing) about a 10 second incident?


February 12, 2010

helmet woes

Filed under: cycling — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , — nekoball @ 3:02 PM

Riding home on the train one day, my mighty observational powers noted something about my Giro Indicator helmet. There was a chunk missing out of it.

My helmet.

Close up. Really close!

I’m assuming it happened during my Grasshopper Adventure crash (the one I haven’t yet blogged about). Or, I could have subconsciously taken a bite out of it on a hunger strike. I does not know. Either way, I need a new helmet. Soon!

Here are a few that I am considering:

Giro Atmos with pop art scheme: Hot or not? From the front, the helmet is completely matte black and the pop art design and colors are not visible. From the back, you see- well, lots of colors. This might be a little over the top for me, but at least it would be easy to pick me out in a sea of helmets! (from the back). The fit feels good, but the large number of vents means that I need to start a cycling cap collection.

Giro Atmos with sepia orange/blue: This is the same helmet as above, with a slightly different color scheme. The colors are more muted, but I’m not sure I love it from the back.

Rudy Sterling – Black/Fluo matte: Lately, I’ve really been liking lime green- on cars, on helmets, on anything. This helmet in general just looks awesome, but I have not tried it on yet. I also do get a discount on Rudy gear, but unfortunately they are out of stock until the end of the month.

My helmet choice is based mostly on appearance, but I did try on a few helmets: Ionos, Atmos, Sweep R, Volt. In general, they felt more form-fitting than my Giro Indicator, which is a one size does not fit all helmet. There are some Giro’s on sale now, but if I can wait a few weeks, I may hold out for the Rudy.

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