It dawned a cool, foggy morning on Thursday. If it’s hard to take a photo of it I get very interested in trying to do it, and foggy, early morning weather is particularly difficult to photograph.
I hustled out of the house to find the moist air particularly cold. When I got to the end of the street I turned right instead of left, thinking that riding down the dirt back roads to work would yield some exceptional photo ops, it did, but I had to pay for my art!
Frost on the grass and the ice forming on my visor suggested that this was more than just fog. After the photo stop I proceeded up the road very cautiously having to constantly wipe the icy condensation off my visor. Unfortunately, no one else had decided to take the back way that morning and the fog was slowly condensing onto the road as well. I approached the stop sign to a paved cross road very cautiously but the moment I applied the brakes both wheels locked up.
If you’ve ever locked up both wheels on a motorcycle you know how quickly things can go pear shaped. The Tiger started to skittle and my heart rate went through the roof. Reflexively, I got off the front brake immediately and was able to keep the bike upright (barely). Since the rear brake was the only thing stopping me at all I had to keep my foot in it. The back wheel was locking up pretty much every time I touched the pedal, but I kept at it. I hadn’t been going that quickly but when your coefficient of drag is zero you aren’t shaving off much speed.
By this point the white line is coming up quick. I’m auto-locking the rear brake but I’m not going to stop in time. I get back on the front brake and it grips this time and I stop right on the line. A woman thumping down the road at 20 over the limit (in thick ice fog) suddenly bursts out of the white to my left and leans on the horn as she flies by inches in front of my front wheel. It’s nice to know that my hands are what saved me and not her considerate driving.
Once on well used pavement it was pretty stable. I got myself the rest of the way into work without any problems other than having to constantly wipe the ice forming off my visor. Sometimes being a photographer is a dangerous business. At least I’ve got quick reflexes and don’t panic when things literally go sideways.
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