Close call at 5am

Controlled skid shows weakness of thin walled racing tires.

3mi. On a very still and cool morning, I went for my usual Wednesday 20 mile loop around Singer Island. Temps were in the low 60s but out of habit I wore a sleeveless jersey. I considered going back for a regular short sleever once I felt the breeze zinging me through the shoulder sleeve holes!  There wasn’t any breeze once I rode onto Northlake Blvd, I thought some of the moisture could fog my glasses.  That was my only concern about this ride.  I felt good about loosening up and being out on the bike again. I hadn’t ridden one of these routes since before Thanksgiving.  I hit all green lights on Northlake Blvd. until Congress Ave. There was one car stopped at a red light in the center of three lanes heading in the same direction as me. Once I was within 200ft of the intersection, the driver of this car decided to make a right turn on red from the center lane! This put his small car right in front of me.  He didn’t see me, although I had my full set of lights on front and rear.  I locked the rear brakes after popping out of the aero position, unclipped the right foot and controlled a skid that looked more like a flat track motorcycle turn.  As I was slowing, the car was only 10 ft ahead of me, but I held the slide and thankfully didn’t go down on the road. My rear tire, locked in the skid, tore a hole in it and deflated immediately.  I knew someday I’d be glopping on glue and replacing one of these sew up tires, that day is now.  The driver never saw me, before during and after his maneuver. I saw the rear wheel was good enough to slowly limp home while riding, no harm would come to the Carbone rim.  I rode back to the house, very glad I was all in one piece and not licking wounds from a road rash.  I thought about how even one car, all alone on a road in the dark still poses a threat.  I’ll have even better headlamps when Nite Rider fixes my battery, but even that good of a light wouldn’t have helped in this situation.  I made it back, took a picture of the tire damage, and went back to sleep.  Beats scraping gravel out of my elbows!

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