Sunday, January 04, 2009

Hold on Tight Boys, The Bridge is Out

Having a camera strapped to your head is a great conversation piece, a great ice-breaker. You get into conversations with people who would normally never speak to you. For instance, I'm standing in line at Dunkin Donuts and this guy says to me "Hey, is that a camera on your head?" and I said " Yes, yes it is".

This would be what I would consider my first "training-type-ride" of the season. Headed out west on the fixed gear bicycle looking for adventure. Boy did I find it. I got out to Concord Center and decided that I would do the short "Smackdown Loop" and shoot up Monument to 225, I had no idea the bridge was out.

There were a couple walkers coming out from around the fence blockading the road letting me know that passage was possible if I wanted to hike-a-bike a bit. What's a good road ride without a little hike-a-bike? After scaling over a small snowbank I hopped back on the bike and started pedaling, just as I thought to myself "My tires are slicing through the snow so nicely" (I think things like that) I hit a bump, then another bump, then my bike flew out from underneath me like I was a cat with overgrown claws on a wet tile floor.

As I tried to get up I realized that what I was riding on was four inches or so of snow on top of ice-covered steel plates held together with 2 X 4s (the bumps). The odds of staying upright were not in my favor. I walked across the rest of the bridge.

When I first saw the above left photo I thought the helmet cam had actually captured my flailing hand as I fell, but no, the snow on my glove tells me that it was after the fall as I picked myself up.

After the fall...reminds me of "Legends of The Fall", Somehow I'd made it through my life without ever having seen that film until very recently. If you haven't seen it, don't bother, go to the animal shelter and watch them euthanize puppies for two and a half hours instead, you'll feel better.

The above photos are the first in a totally groundbreaking series entitled "Is This Thing On?". In most of them I'm riding no-handed while holding my helmet. My glasses are in my mouth because I am an outside the helmet strap with the glasses kinda guy. Maybe someday I'll crash while holding my helmet and adjusting my camera. The images captured will serve as my black box recording.

I like the last photo, it looks like that classic image of the sweaty, white Ninja smoking a pipe.

Brunch plans were put in jeopardy when I encountered my second closed bridge. I was right on schedule, my stomach was growling, I had left the house on empty, I needed to get food in my mouth as quickly as possible, but this bridge was all crazy and impassable looking. I jumped over a barricade to assess the situation. There were footprints (from small animals) in the snow on either side. The only thing between me and the other side (where my home fries were waiting) was an eight inch wide I-Beam spanning an icy river.

No one has ever accused me of being a genius. I picked up my bike, placed my snow-covered hard plastic soled shoes on the beam and scampered across. My stomach thanked me.

Miriam with her own take on the "Is This Thing On?" project

My phone rang as I rolled up Chicken Hill in Lexington, I pulled it out of my pocket as I came through the center, Miriam had called. Thinking she had important, brunch-related news, I called her back immediately. I was riding no-handed, pulling my ear bud out, jamming the phone under my balaklava, Miriam picks up, says "Hang on a second" , I'm looking ahead going "What the hell is this cyclist in front of me doing? Now there's a yogger taking the wide line around the cyclist, what a cluster-fuck", I put my hand back on my bar as I swerve around the mess and realize that the cyclist is none other than Miriam.

Oops gotta wrap this up. Spent all night coloring my entry form for SSWC09, got to get that thing in the mail stat.

1 comment:

Frenchy aka Bike Boy said...

The images captured will serve as my black box recording.
Happy New year!