Monday evening I rode my bike to meet up with Keri and Lisa at the Audubon Park Community Market. For me, it’s a short ride of just over three miles, with most of it in heavy traffic as drivers make their way home from work. A few years ago I would try to come up with all kinds of excuses for not riding my bike through this area. Taking Cycling Savvy and having the encouragement of Keri and Mighk and others in the local community, as well as some practice, has made me feel comfortable and confident riding in traffic. I admit to taking baby steps: I rode with friends. I rode by myself. I rode pulling a trailer. I rode on a folding bike. I wore a dress and heels while riding a folding bike. I rode with flashing holiday lights and a velociraptor. And found that applying what I had learned in Cycling Savvy actually worked, no matter what I was riding or how I was dressed.
Anyway, for some reason I decided to wear jeans Monday night. After many long months of hot weather and short pants, it seemed like the temperature might cool off into the lower 70’s, and I wouldn’t be riding very far, so why not? I dug up a couple of reflective pants leg retainer straps, or whatever they are called, and rode off on my Surly LHT. Nice ride, no problems, and a pleasant stroll through the market. We decided to go to a nearby restaurant for a quick supper, and Keri and Lisa walked over to the place, while I stashed my purchases in my panniers and hopped on my bike. I had barely l pulled out into traffic when the chainring sunk its teeth into my pants leg and pulled it into the chain. Yikes!
Fortunately the light turned red as I balanced and struggled, and I had a chance to free myself from the drivetrain and roll up my pants leg before we started again. Pride (I can ride in traffic!) goeth before a (near) fall, as they say. For short “hop-on-your-bike-and-ride-without-thinking-about-it ” trips, I guess there is something to be said for chain guards. And I have bikes with them. But I’m not Dutch, and I’ll be more careful next time.
I think I’ll sew a colorful little patch on this as a reminder.