Zoomer Boomer: You’ve got to love it: A drowned rat | SkyHiNews.com

Zoomer Boomer: You’ve got to love it: A drowned rat

John Ridell writes a business column and a fun, Zoomer-Boomer outdoor column for the Sky-Hi News.

A drowned rat! That’s about the best description I could come up with at the conclusion of a bicycle ride during a recent episode of “monsoon wannabe” weather. While you may have seen it in cartoons or comedy spoofs, I really did pour rain out of my shoes when I took them off and I really did have water coming out of the sleeves of my jacket. You would be well within your rights to ask what I was even doing out in weather like this.

Following a long held personal standard, I did not, have not, and hope to never start a bike ride in such conditions. That would be foolish. But on the road, once those endorphins start circulating at a high rate, inclement weather as a concern seems to disappear. Now I should mention that rain, accompanied by a chilly wind or a fast downhill can temper the enthusiasm of even the best endorphins and wet wind chill is just plain miserable.

A hard rain causes a different problem. Good vision becomes a double concern. Even though I was wearing appropriate eyewear matched for the low light conditions in broad daylight (a result of obviously astute marketing), these glasses lacked wipers. As on the windshield of your car, this was a definite problem when trying to distinguish upcoming objects including potholes, downed limbs, and automobiles.

This led to the second concern. As much difficulty as I was having seeing vehicles, the soccer match that just concluded unleashed a torrent of cars probably not prepared nor even able to see me and my equivalent of a submarine on two wheels. Recollection of the closeness of some of these calls surely results in the distance being shorter and shorter as time goes and the story is retold, but suffice it to say that I could see my wet self in the door mirrors as they went by. Interestingly, I can also relate that their act of honking the horn served no benefit as far as the weather was concerned, nor did it increase my speed, nor cause me to somehow magically remove myself from the road. I can only assume that the offending honkers thought they were doing me a favor, a honk for my own protection so to speak.

For those of you given to speculation of such things, I can also relate to you that those white stripes that are on the outside of most roads have a peculiar trait. It seems that when mixed with water, even if the temperature is a balmy 60 degrees, they take on all the characteristics of glare ice, at least for bicycle tires. I know this because twice I applied my brakes going down a steep hill and I truly believe that for only a brief nanosecond, out of the corner of my eye, I saw my rear wheel seemingly next to my front wheel. This was not a comforting awareness.

A friend of mine asked me why I rode on a day like this and I answered, “I honestly don’t know.” But when I finally returned home and my wife asked how the ride went, “Great ride!” was my response.

Following a successful international business career, John Riddell turned his attention to small business/entrepreneurial pursuits that included corporate turn-arounds, start-ups, teaching as an adjunct business school professor, authoring award winning business and sports columns, and serving as VP for the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce directing its Center for Entrepreneurial Growth. He can be contacted at jfriddell@msn.com.


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