Whenever I go for a ride, I always check that my tires have air and that they are spinning freely. This morning and evening were no different. It looked like there was rain in the area so I rode Little Nellie to work. The rain stopped within five minutes. The ride was pleasant and uneventful.
The work day ended with my officemates and I going to a bar around the corner for happy hour. I had a couple of pints of (Shiner Bock and Fat Tire Ale). I didn’t get on the road until 5:40 or so.
I made it about halfway home before it got dark and I had to turn on my headlight. It has been a couple of weeks since I rode this long in the dark. The trail was swarming with ninjas. I managed to miss six of them before reaching Old Town.
The Mount Vernon Trail hits Pendelton Street at a T. To my left were a line of parked school buses with their headlights on. I rode just past the stop sign (first mistake) to get a look to my left around the buses. Then I looked straight. There were two cyclists with headlights turning from the street on my right onto the trail. They were passing directly in front of me. I veered to my right to avoid them. Then looked left again to make sure the coast was clear. Then I hit something. It was a flexipost (a sort of flimsy bollar) that had recently been place in the middle of the street. I stopped immediately and righted the post. Since I was in the middle of the street, I quickly re-mounted my bike and continued on my way. Everything seemed to work fine.
And it did. I got through Old Town in one piece and even managed to avoid my seventh ninja of the night once I was back on the trail.
Once at home, I opened my shed. I lifted the front end of the bike off the ground to hang it up. The wheel made an odd rattle. I looked down and saw that the quick release on my front wheel was not closed. The flexipost collision had pried it open. I don’t want to think what would have happened if the front wheel had come off while I was riding. This would be hard to do since the tire is too fat to clear the break pads, but surely a pothole or a good yank on the handlebars could have brought an unpleasant result.
So I am adding checking my quick releases to my pre-ride check list.