I have not been able to get internet access for a bit. Sorry ’bout that.
About the dear strike – we were riding on a cold, dark road with very little traffic. The Northern Lights were bright green and the moon was rising. We had a few cars come by us, but being about 1:00 in the morning, we were basically alone. A car approached from a distance ahead of us. As he approached us he slowed. When the approaching car was about 40 yards in front of the lead bike, another car came up from behind us and passed the ambulance and us. No room on the road for two cars and a bunch of bikes. The approaching car veered off onto the dirt shoulder as the minivan passed the bikes. From about 2/3 back I saw one deer jump across the road through the lights right in front of the riders. Then another – BANG as it hit the minivan. We slowed and rolled passed the dying deer. The car stopped, but the minivan didn’t. We know it was damaged because there were pieces of car plastic all over the scene. We rolled on and the car stayed, I can only imagine why. All the stars aligned just right on that one. A few seconds different and any number of things could have gone terribly wrong for us. It was a real sobering moment for many of us.
So – what do you wear while cycling on a 20 degree night? Head to toe –
Feet first, Two pair of socks, Toe warmers, Cleated cycling shoes, Insulated shoe covers, One pair off bib style cycling shorts, One pair of regular weight cycling tights, One pair of insulated cycling tights, One long sleeve compression top, One cotton long sleeve t-shirt, One short sleeve cycling jersey, One long sleeve insulated cycling jersey, one fleece vest, One cycling wind jacket, One “skull cap” under One helmet, One pair of clear glasses, One pair of cross country ski gloves, One pair of “Lobster claw” three finger mittens. I was still chilly, and my toes were frozen by the end of our shift. Our team is all done with night riding for this trip.
Today’s ride was fun but a bit frightening. We were on a very busy road with cars passing the ambulance and then us, while there was on coming traffic. Several times cars swerved back into line toward the riders. We almost saw several accidents that very easily could have involved several riders. We eventually got to the end of our shift, but we were all a little shaken. The next team was on their shift for only an hour before the ambulance decided it was just too dangerous. 14 near misses for the riders was enough, time to get them off the road. They packed up their bikes and squeezed into the support camper and drove to a safe location on another road, and resumed their ride. Radio chatter indicated everyone was much happier.
Sorry, no pictures this time. It’s late and I’m tired, so I’m hitting the hay now. We ride at noon tomorrow, (Wednesday) and we’ll cross the border back into the U.S. (Vermont) on our bikes. That should be fun. Almost home!