Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Fred Flintstone Stop

Greetings Readers

Yes, I call my bike braking in the snow and ice - The Fred Flintstone stop.

Even with the ego that I have, especially when I gloat that I know how to handle a bike, I have to say I I am a bit careful. I even might have bragged that I handle a bike better than a woman. Sort of sounds messed up, but it is true. Yet, there is my ego and then there is Mother Earth.

She is ever so watchful and ready for me to "Kiss the Earth". Mothers sometimes need kisses and hugs and more importantly Love. But not in the sense of tender kisses and huges and love, but downright going endo, horizontal or falling down.

Flashback - the snow was falling pretty good and heavy last night. Yesterday morning as I indicated I was watching the morning news and I heard that snow was forecast to fall later that evening. There was no tempting the bike gods by me. I just knew that the snow was not going to fall until later, later that night. Wrong. The snow was falling and the wind was blowing when I left work. I guess I can say that the weather woman actually predicted correctly. Go figure.

The wind blew an icy, cold gust that chilled my body down. Not to mention that I was wearing my skin tight long biking pant and then on top of that I added a bike shorts with color - just to get that extra warmth and padding down there. I regreted wearing the warm up jogging pants I have, but I dealt with the cold wind.

The cold wind. Well, earlier in the day the temperature did get into the thirties, I think, which did melt some ice. Fast forward to the evening, the water that melted had turned to black ice with wind blowing that cold air from the North. I saw the black ice here and there from the reflection of the streetlights reflecting that icy surface.

I was determined not to fall. I just hate going horizontal. I slowed down and was very, very careful of making my turns. I did not use the front brake at all. Only the back. Using the brake I also use one leg as a braking system. The snow that started falling in the late afternoon had covered the ground pretty good and I knew - just knew- that there was black ice waiting for me to ride across.

So almost every corner I was doing the Fred Flintstone Stop. One or two feet sliding across the snow and/or ice.

I love doing this, but I also hate since I am not riding the speed that I usually do. I have to ride slow or else. I also couldn't ride through any yellow stoplights since I was riding slower than usual and yes I had to stop on two yellow lights for I knew I would never make the ride across the intersection in any sort time that would piss off any of those drivers.

I made a couple stops after work and I was proposed by two people.

"Hey, can I give you a ride?"

Can they give me a ride. Hmmm. Well, first of all "discrimination" came to me. Perhaps with a capital "D". Sorry readers, those two people who asked me that question were guys. One guy had a child so that was probably safe, but the other guy well.... not even an option to consider saying yes. I would hate for my friends to read/hear that a local bike rider was found dead in some part of town. Granted, they would only be able to take some money, but also my beloved Ipods.

However, these two people I am sure were okay. It goes to show you that there are people in the world who would do something for a stranger. Of course, when these two people saw me they saw about two inches of snow on my bike, me trying to wipe the snow off, I have my skin tight bike pants on and basically I probably looked like I needed a ride. But by no means was I looking at these people giving any indication that I was cold, did not want to ride, or was miserable. I was minding my own business.

Readers - I do admit that there are nice people in Centennial, Colorado.

Now readers, do not hate me. If these two people had been women, and my type of woman, most likely I would have said yes without thinking twice about it. I know that is shallow thinking, but I would never know and also I am single. Perhaps it is a guy thing, being asked by a "your type of woman" who are you/I to say no. Discrimination at its highest readers. But I am a sucker for Blondes, nice voice, gorgeous looking or eyes that my heart go thump de thump.

Back to Fred Flintstone Stopping. In case any of readers have gotten this far and do not know what "Fred Flintstone Stopping" is let me tell you. In the "The Flintstone's" cartoon Fred and/or Barney had there stone age cars. Well, in order to get the stone age car started Fred/Barney had to use their feet to start the car moving. After the car got moving then the feet magically disappear up into the car bottom. I have not seen the cartoon in a long, long time, but if I remember correctly when either Fred/Barney had to stop the stone age car quickly their feet came out from the bottom of the car and they put their feet, ankles first, into the ground making the car come to a stop. And that is the Fred Flintstone Stop.

Many of times I have used that manuveur. More so in the winter. I would saw that my success rate is 100 percent since I can not recollect ever falling from having one foot down and using that as a brake.

Using just your brakes in the winter while there is snow and ice - is tempting the bike gods. For all those times you think you got lucky on a bike the biking gods are looking for a time to show how unlucky you can be also.

By the way readers - I am using my regular shoes/sneakers and not my clipless biking shoes when doing the Fred Flintstone Stop. I paid good money for my biking shoes and I am not going to wear those shoes down. My biking sneakers have been around for more than a decade and yes they show their wear and tear. But those two pairs of shoes I have are the only ones I use and they are perfect for using on my winter bike.

Today's picture is a view of me from the back. There is my beloved US Open back pack, my purple fanny pack (11 years old, I think) my skin tight long bike pants, my regular bike shorts (gray color), my winter jacket, underneath my Nautica pullover, Thinsulate gloves and my first Ipod (yes the pink one) on the side of my purple fanny pack. That's that.

Until the next time

Daryl Charley
The Fallen Athlete

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