Light (mis)adventures

December 6, 2010 at 23:36 | Posted in bicycles | Leave a comment
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I left work very late today, and when I came to hop on the bike outside the office, I discovered one of the rear lights wasn’t working. Aaarg! Batteries? Of course, I have a spare set in my bag, so switch them over. Nope, still no joy – seems the light is dead. I had a nasty feeling about this light after I last used it – which was a long ride in torrential rain. It wouldn’t switch off properly, and it seems it no will no longer switch on again.

Why do bike lights cope so badly with wet weather? It’s a decent light from a reputable bike shop, but they just don’t seem to be built for the rain. Very frustrating. My other working light gives me cause to celebrate my ‘two lights per bike’ strategy though, so I set off. Ironically the working light is an old cheap one that seems to withstand the rain quite OK.

Mrs Chillikebab has already warned me there’s is no food in the house (and that’s literally true, as everything is packed up for the impending house move), so I need to pick something up on the way home. I decide to ride home first, then get something to take home, so ride to Rozelle. I’m pretty hungry by this point, and spend a large part of the journey wondering what to get. Thai? Indian? Pide?

I’m not too hungry to enjoy the ride though, even going on a bit of a scenic detour through The Rocks. It’s a lovely night for a ride; quite warm and still. After a long stressful day at work, it’s the best way to unwind. I’m also riding the Peugeot, which I haven’t ridden for a few weeks, and there’s something nice about reacquainting yourself with an bike you haven’t ridden for a while. It seemed happy to be out of the shed too; bowling along really well coupled to my shiny white shoes!

I got to Rozelle, and had decided on Thai – a vegetable green currry, to be exact. However, it’s Monday night, and it’s later than I realised, and they have closed. As has the curry place. And the kebab shop. Even Subway (the last refuge of the desperate) is closed

What to do? I continue on a little way further, and am met by the welcoming sign of the pizza shop. Not my first choice, but by this point I’d eat anything. Except McDonald’s. I order at the counter, and he tells me it will be 10 minutes. I kill a couple of minutes looking in the window of the bike shop next door, but then decide to use the time by riding up to the ATM. I hook my bike lock over the handlebars and set off. I’m on Darling St when a car with a stupid farting turbo guns the engine behind me – and sure enough whizzes past too close when there’s traffic coming the other way over a humped intersection. It’s a 40kph zone, and he’s not going to get anywhere, but I suppose he needs to compensate for his inadequate manhood somehow. As he goes past, I feel the tyre catch something that spits out, and just catches my leg. ‘Bet that was a stone pushed into my path by that stupid car!’ I think uncharitably as I pull up at the ATM.

Only it wasn’t a stone. Looking down I realise that my lock had dislodged one of my front lights, and it has vanished. It must have dropped off – and must have been what I felt clipping the wheel. My heart sinks – not another light! I ride around in disconsolate circles for several minutes looking for it in the road, but to no avail – it’s not to be found

I go and pick up my pizza and head home, thinking of the now two replacement lights I need to buy. However, approaching my street I encounter a whole bunch of houses with their Xmas lights up on display all looking very jolly. Hey, what are two lights when there’s hundreds more to be enjoyed? Much cheered up, I turn into home to scoff my late night pizza.

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