Sub-optimal riding weather, and a new job
On my last day at my job, it comes quittin’ time, and it’s omen weather: windy, dark and sleeting. Well, home is only a little over a mile away. If you’re ever in this situation, here’s a few pointers:
- Wear a head cover under your helmet
- Front and rear blinker lights and extra reflectors on your bike are a very good idea. The reflector tape they put on semi-trucks is really good stuff and you can buy about a lifetime supply of it for fifteen bucks at a farm or truck supply. Hardware stores don’t carry it.
- Mountain bike is a better choice than any skinny-tired machine. Make sure the cables and chain are well lubricated to avoid water jamming them up
- Dress warmly; you don’t want to start shivering while you loosen up an ice-encrusted lock.
- Watch out for uneven surfaces; they put side-thrust on your wheels and can cause you to slip
- Corner slowly so your bike remains pretty much exactly upright
- Paradoxically, busy streets are safer than sidewalks. The street is salted so there isn’t much ice. But when crossing empty parking lots, plan on riding slowly.
- Avoid the proximity of very tall buildings; crosswinds are not helpful when riding on ice.
I got home just fine with only minimal slippage and no falls. Tomorrow I start my “new” job.
I am going to miss everyone at my “old” job. The department where I worked is known as the “Crazy schemes factory” and being tech support there is a gas. We all exchanged jokes and insults, the boss congratulated me, one of my coworkers took me out to lunch. It was about as nice a last day as I could possibly imagine. What a wonderful bunch of friends.
My new job is also a great place with an even bigger cast of characters. I have been working there half-time for the past couple years and now am going full-time. My role will change considerably, with more emphasis on web development and multimedia. Computer support will still be a part of it, though. I wouldn’t know how to act if I didn’t get support calls.
I get to learn more about CSS, PHP, and databases including MySQL and Access. I’m anxious to dive into those subjects because I’ve only had spare moments to look at them before now. Also a possibility I can get some Visual Basic programming and certainly more on multimedia. It’s like breaking through a wall and finding a whole room full of cool new stuff.
But I probably won’t ride to work tomorrow; several inches of snow predicted to say nothing of the ice accumulating on everything right now. Maybe the streets will be all cleared up by next week.
UPDATE: couple hours later… the bit o’ sleet has turned into a full ice storm. But the patter of ice hitting the roof is quieted by the thick layer that has accumulated there. Outside, tree branches are making familiar cracking noises; I should not be surprised for the power to go off this evening.
As Sgt. Esterhaus on Hill Street Blues used to say, “Let’s be careful out there.”