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Bikes. Parts. Chaos.
My commute was notably sweet last night. It has been snowing lightly on and off for the last couple of days, and it has stayed cold. Most of Minneapolis and the surrounding ‘burbs have 2-3 inches on the ground. With 20psi in the tires, the Pug was rippin' on the mostly-plowed streets and alleys. 2-wheel drifts through the corners, at speed, are predictable and safe with the big meats when rolling on the mostly-dry snow. Sometimes, I speed up before the corners to test the limits of the tires and myself. I just get low...lots of times sitting on the toptube...and shift my weight back and forth with a foot out on the inside of the corner. The exaggerated fore/aft weight shift is the key. I'm damn-near having intimate relations with the stem, if it's really loose and the front end starts to slide a bit too much. Mom would be so proud to know her boy is regularly humping his bike in public. A good line through the corner doesn't hurt either. When auto traffic is light or nonexistent, I use the whole road to properly apex that corner and keep my speed up. When it gets slick, I'm all about wide...wide bars, wide tires, wide turns....wide-angle lenses, wide loads, wide eyes, wide world of sports, why'd you wink at me you creepy old man with your hand down the front of your orange and brown plaid trousers, etc, etc. I arrived home in a great mood. That quickly faded when I realized that I'd lost my bag off my seatpost rack somewhere along my 16-mile commute from work to home. The toe straps holding it on had loosened and allowed the bag to slide off the back of the rack. I had no idea where I dropped it. What a sinking feeling. Luckily, I had my wallet and keys in my pockets. But, my bag had some valuable goods in it: my phone, some clothes, a new tarp-tent, some other new camping gadgets that got shipped to the office yesterday, work-related paperwork, and my check book. It was a big loss. I had to go back and look for it…even if I had to ride back to the office. It could be anywhere. Somebody could have picked it up, or it could have been run over by 100 cars and smashed to pieces…but, I had to look. After wolfing down some pitted dates, chocolate chip cookies, fruit juice, and a cheese stick, I exchanged a couple layers of wet clothes for some dry ones and headed back out to look for my lost goods. While riding, I was thinking about all the places that I would have bucked it off the rack…all the curb hops, snowy fields, bumps and berms. There were too many to count. I was getting more bummed out as I calculated the probability of successfully finding everything intact. Then, as I approached Portland Ave...about 20 minutes from home, I spotted it. My yellow drybag was lying right where it had fallen an hour earlier…in the snow, between the parkway and bike path, at the point I had hopped up the curb. Damn, that's a nice feeling. At that point, I didn't care about the worry and waste of time. Life was good again. I was hungry and tired, but so happy to not have to deal with the hassle of replacing my phone, canceling my checks, and redoing my paperwork. I definitely used up some good kharma, last night. -----