Most Sunday mornings a couple of buddies and I ride bike. We hammer each other for bragging rights about who zipped up the hill or won the final sprint. You know, typical stupid guy stuff.
We ride all the way through the winter (our coldest ride was 8 degrees F) and met yesterday hoping the misty rain wouldn’t actually be rain. We reasoned that since it showed 32 degrees F on our thermometers at home, it would just get warmer so we shouldn’t hit ice. In retrospect, these were dubious conclusions.
It was only Cromer and I, so we rode and chatted and had a good old time. It started raining hard when we were about 10 miles away, so we decided to meander our way back. As I rode, I felt my front tire slip to the side, which scared me though I was able to stay upright. As we rode up a long hill, I kept feeling my rear wheel skip when I put power to the pedal, but just thought I needed to be in a higher gear.
After riding some more and feeling my front wheel slip a few more times, I unclipped my foot and touched the road. It was solid ice. I got off my bike and could barely stand, as my bike slipped one way and I slipped another. I finally got to the edge of the road and could stand in the grass. We had been riding about 1 mile on a sheet of ice. I can’t imagine how we didn’t fall down.
We were about 3 miles from home and Cromer wanted to call his wife to pick us up. I knew she’d be asleep and am not a fan of getting rescued from situations I’ve behaved myself into. So we decided to walk our bikes (slide them really) and hope for a pick-up truck. We walked about 1.5 miles with no pick-up trucks passing, but I was able to raise a very sore blister on my heel (note to other idiots: bike shoes don’t make good walking shoes).
Finally I saw a little pick-up and waved him down. When he stopped, it was my old buddy and fellow engineer Art Thomspon. We worked together at Huth Engineers and now he’s at Woodland Concrete.
Engineers: they are there when you need them.