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Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Flushing, NY
Oh, and as to what happened: I went down in some "micro-rain".
read that the most dangerous time to be on the road is actually right after a very light rain, because the moisture causes oil in the road to come to the surface but there hasn't been any hard rain to wash it away. Well, now I know what THAT in turn implies...
I was riding home from work today in just such weather conditions (nearly all in-city riding, no highways) -- it had rained a very fine mist for about 30 minutes before I left, and continued for another 10 minutes or so. There was some sun shining on the horizon and most people weren't even bothering with umbrellas. I've ridden in fairly heavy rainstorms by taking it slow and easy so I wasn't particularly worried. Since in the past I'd had my rear tire fishtail out from under me while making a right turn over a manhole cover, I was very careful to go slowly and keep the bike upright as much as possible around turns.
Then, after about 20 minutes of riding (after even the light rain had stopped), I coasted in behind a car at a traffic light (in a straight line and not at an angle), gently and smoothly applied both brakes as I've done 1,000 times before, and...
WHOOMPH. As if it had suddenly had a piece of wax paper pulled out from under it, my rear tire went off to the right side and down I went. I was already mostly braked so it was practically like falling down in a parking lot - I pinned my left leg under the bike, and had to crawl out from under it (some people on the sidewalk rushed over to help me stand the bike up), and that was it.
So be careful out there, a brief light rain (mist, really) can be MORE treacherous than riding in an actual downpour!
"Until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore, you will not know the terror of being forever lost at sea." (Despair.com)