10/8/13

Mind the wet leaves

Mind the wet leaves. 

Mind the wet leaves. 

Mind the wet leaves.

Mind the wet leaves. 

Mind the wet leaves. 

MIND THE WET LEAVES. 

It's allegedly autumn now and there are wet leaves all over the place and since all over the place includes bike lanes, there are wet leaves there too. Admittedly, they're not always wet, but they are sometimes wet and not because these leaves have access to a kickass water park with wave pools and water slides and one of those lazy rivers. Instead, they're wet because of rain and because of latent humidity and puddles and the fact that DDOT hasn't yet adopted my wildly profligate plan to equip Foliage Rangers with little towels and hair dryers to dry the leaves ("Why not just give Foliage Rangers rakes?" you might ask, indulging me). Generally, it's from rain, which does tend to happen this time of year. Anyway, wet leaves can create a hazard for cyclists and that's why you should be mindful of them and try not to ride your bike over them unnecessarily. This might mean riding on the outer edges of the bike lane or riding entirely outside of the bike lane and I'm here to remind you that this is ok. Just try to give yourself some lead time before leaving a bike lane and be mindful of any approaching car/truck/bus/yak traffic, as it's no good to trade one hazard for another. I find that looking over my shoulder helps, both in seeing any approaching traffic and signaling to that traffic that I might be moving over. Some sort of hand or arm gesture wouldn't hurt either.If you do happen to find yourself riding over wet leaves, I have little advice other than to not panic and try not to make any dramatic turns or harsh braking or anything. If you find yourself fallen atop wet leaves and the asphalt thereunder, I hope it wasn't very bad.

So, that's my advice for autumnal biking, at least as far as avoiding wet leaves is concerned. I have other advice for autumnal biking (switch up your regular chain lube for pumpkin spice chain lube!), but I'll save that for a future post when it's more unrelentingly autumnal.

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