Thursday, February 14, 2013

More Life at 12 MPH

There are lots of us out there, people who prefer moving more slowly and with greater deliberation. Whether I would do it in a more challenging climate and geography is something I don’t have to decide or test. I have great respect for the women who blogs about living a bicycle lifestyle in wintery Alaska and the staff at Bicycle Times who do it in Pittsburgh whose snow and hills I experienced five decades ago.

Bicycles as a real transportation mode expose us to interesting people and unusual opportunities and I identify one of each below.

I feel vulnerable aboard a bike without a mirror, much more than when I ride sans helmet. Maybe it is a lingering subconscious fear of rednecks in pickups that was consciously put to rest in August as I safely traversed the secondary and tertiary roads of coastal Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. Irrespectively, I like knowing what’s behind me, so I always don glasses with a mirror attached (Safari) or bike-attached (High Sierra).

The best wearable mirror I have found is the Messenger Mirror, about which I have written previously. It is a winner in price, flexibility, size and practicality and now in customer service. The small mirror is attached to an irregular shaped rubbery pentagon which slides onto the temple piece. When one of the holes split because I had persistently pushed the piece too far onto the wide temple I contacted the manufacturer who happens to be the owner, salesperson, web master and customer service department. He was for some unknown reason off on a bike tour. Maybe he’s into bikes? So, I get a return email saying that he’ll send me the replacement piece when he gets back home.

I have purchased several Messenger Mirrors for personal use and to give to other riders because $5.99 and a shipping cost of $0.92 is . . . well . . . cool. Until the manufacturer/owner/salesperson . . . ok . . . until Bruce got back home I simply began using the backup I’d purchased before setting off on my tour. A few days ago the part arrived. The part and note are shown below where he seems to suggest that I am doing him a favor! Now, I have another backup. Whata deal and whata guy. Thanks, Bruce!
On the way home from an errand I had the good fortune to see one of automobilia’s fun vehicles. In the past, while living in metro Atlanta I’d see the Oscar Mayer Weinermobile occasionally, but hadn’t for many years since moving much further south. Apparently this version was headed for Miami as it turned onto I-75 southbound.

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