Things that Matter to Those on the Rim

  • Thing the first:  It’s not the glass.  It’s never the glass.  It’s always metal.  Sharp, pointy metal.  The last flat I got, was from like a little piece of 28 gauge steel wire.  Tiny little thing; I see how it could poke you in the finger ow dammit, but all the way through a tire?  Not a road tire now, a cross tire.  If I tried to stick that through a sheet of saran wrap I’d have to work at it, and it goes all the way through my tire and tube?  Not that anything got me today, it just occurred to me as I was crunching over glittering fields of glass on my brand new Vittorias.
  • Thing the front and rear:  Is that a good brand?  Well it’s good in that it was on sale at Performance.  Which, since I bought that pair of Novara shorts at REI last month, I’ve felt a lot better about.  Performance, that is.  Their house brand shorts beat the pants right off the Novaras, for the same price.  Anyway, the Vittoria Randonneur seems like a decent mid-range cross tire.  It certainly corners better than what my bike was born with.  And I think they weigh about the same.  I like the reflecty sidewalls, and the reviews all say they’re way puncture-resistant.
  • Thing the sad:  I totally missed the very short season for the snack bar alongside the trail in that little development across from the race track in Bowie.  The snacks were just getting ripe last month, and now there’s nothing left but thorns.
  • Contextual silliness:  Why is it that, when there are people who spend their working lives actually studying the best wording for road signs, we end up with things like:
    • Yield to trail users Well that’s content-free. If you’re on the trail, you’re a trail user. So everybody yield to everybody else. And more me in the monitors.
    • No unauthorized vehicles beyond this point Yes, I knew that. Since it’s always true, everywhere.
    • Road closed Um, what?  No it’s not.  I can see houses on it, with driveways and stuff.  And there’s those stables down the bottom of the hill, next to the trail.  There’s nothing blocking traffic from the road, and it looks fully maintained.  Just a white sign on the side, Road Closed.  They used to do that in Connecticut when working on the interstates, put a big sign on the side: “Road Legally Closed:  Pass at your own risk.”  Does that actually have any legal meaning?
  • Gotta get my timin’ right: The bridges on the WB&A are slowly rising, relative to the trail. Glad I wasn’t on sewn-ups when I mistimed the jump onto the High Bridge Road bridge.  BAM! Man, if I had a million dollars, I’d buy a paving machine. Oh, wouldn’t that be fun! And all the fanciest pavement. Dijon pavement!
  • Course I should be on my way to Maine, but it was a nice ride, so no complaints.

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