I went for my usual ride this morning and my usual rides are becoming more and more challenging since it is staying darker for longer. When I first started morning rides the sun was up, now everyday I start off from the house in darker and darker conditions. I am to the point where it is dark until about the 20th mile of my ride…not fun. I bought a light yesterday so I can see just how bad the man-swallowing-bottomless-pit-pot holes are going to be BEFORE I hit them. I affix my new device to the handlebar and snicker to myself something about how I use to harass kids in the neighborhood who put lights on the handlebars of their Pro-Performers or Haro’s and the like. That’s when it dawns on me that those kids never had to go to the Trauma Center from slamming into a tree headfirst in the middle of the night….but I digress. I check out the mounting bracket and have a thought that the thing is sketchy with a second helping of jenky (both sketchy and jenky come from my daughter) I have serious doubts whether this thing is going to hold up to the ride given the roads here are actually worse than a single track that has been bombed by a B-52. I decide to run with it and give it a chance.
I mount my trusty cycle hit the button that casts light in front of me and tear of into the early morning darkness. The first few miles are pretty smooth and the light is working like a charm…then the minefield begins. After a few bumps the light starts slipping and begins pointing more toward my front tire. I would have to move it back to cast the light out in front of me, highly annoying and I think I actually said something along the lines of “what a pile of crap.” I ride on and after 3 million times of adjusting the damn thing I am good and pissy. To my relief I enter smooth section number two and can finally put the stupid light out of my mind for a few miles…this is when IT happens. Now let me set this up for you, I live in a city, not a town, not a village….a FREAKING city. The closest thing to wild life I see is homeless guys, rats, feral dogs and the occasional mangy cat. Wildlife is not a normal thing where I live, or so I thought.
I was riding along and I was looking forward when I saw a large object about 3 feet in front of my front wheel…then I saw a second large object. The large objects dart from my right to my left in front of me. The markings on the little beasts screamed raccoon and I swear they had horns, red eyeballs and were muttering things in Latin. One of the beasts crossed in front of my tire and the second one made a move in the same direction. Now it could be that I didn’t have my glasses on as usual or it could be that these things were actually demon possessed but I swear to you the second one passed between my spokes. There is no possible way at the speed I was going and the mere fraction of a nanometer I missed hitting the first one that the second one missed getting hit. These things were huge by the way, I am talking like Saint Bernard huge, well I could be exaggerating a little but dang it they were big. To make matters worse as soon as this little death dance started I started screaming….like a little girl, it couldn’t be helped. The only thought running through my mind was trying to explain to Saint Peter just how I had come to stand before him at the pearly gates. I thought for sure this was a coordinated effort where the raccoons make me crash and then maul me savagely on the side of the road. Freaking raccoons in the middle of a city, who has ever heard of such a thing? I hear the stories of people out west dealing with cougars and pumas and leopards and other assorted killer felines I guess we city dwellers have to contend with killer raccoons.
I say all that to say this, the light I bought sucks.