Sunday, June 12, 2011

thoughts on light, shadows, fenders and bay laurel

OK, yes, another:

but it's still not boring. This was a picture perfect day to ride in the Santa Cruz mtns. Perfect temps, no wind, light traffic but the 2nd forested section on hwy 236 past Big Basin park was almost completely wet. Who would have thought you needed them this late in the Spring season but thank god for full fenders on bikes! The '74 Raleigh Pro was never supposed to have them but P-clamps work wonders where dropout eyelets cease to exist.

The great weather and relative comfort of this ride got me thinking of things besides my sore muscles, namely light and shadows and how I compensate for the interplay.

It occurs to me that when I ride I'm constantly aware of the sun and it's relative location. I don't like riding in the very early morn or late afternoon especially when the sun is low on the horizon and in my eyes. Because if it's annoying me I know it is blinding the driver approaching from behind with a dirty windshield. Will he see me enough to keep me safe? Mid day is best when the sun is most high and glare is minimum. How about going from light to shadows? I always find that I'm consciously trying to stay in the light on the road as opposed to the shadows, at least when I hear a car approaching from behind. I realize when I'm in a car that if I'm in the light it is very hard to see anything on the road in front of me in the shadows, mostly due to sun induced windshield glare. So to avoid the Christines while cycling I'll always attempt to be in a sunny spot on the road to give the driver a chance to see me whether he's in sun or shadow.

Have you ever been close to bonking and out of food in bay area mtns? If so look for Califonia Bay Laurel trees. You can crush the leaves and take a big sniff and it's almost like smelling salts. It'll wake you enough to keep going just a little further. Bay Laurels are shy trees but do like filtered sunlight so look for them between oaks or redwoods in the forest but PLEASE avoid the poison oak when you're stomping around out there. "Leaves of three, let it be..."

'til next time, "Have a Nice Ride"...

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