Wednesday, December 14, 2011

don't curse the darkness. also woops.

The last set of lights are out in the world as of Monday evening.  The Contraption Captain and I had just cleared the big intersection of the Alameda and Sand Hill when we noticed a bicyclist in our respective rear view mirrors.  Captain leaned towards me and said softly "does he have lights?"  I squint and whisper back "I don't think so."  C Captain then faded back to check out the other unsuspecting bicyclist more closely.  Next I hear---

Captain:  Hey, want some lights?
Dark Bicyclist (heavy accent):  Umm, no.
Captain: [wheedling a little]: They're freeeeeeeeeeeeeee.
Dark Bicyclist (very surprised):  Really?  Uh, yes, yes I would!

We all pull over and drag our bicycles onto the sidewalk to avoid surprising the cars.  Contraption Captain digs through his high-end water-proof bike bag and pulls out the last set of lights and unwraps the front white one.  He demonstrates how to wrap it around and secure it and then gets out the red light.  Briefly, I see the look on the Dark Bicyclists face when the lights turn on.  He looks surprised and delighted.  He looks so happy and in that moment I am happy.  He thanks us and then pedals his now-blinking bicycle away into the darkness of Sand Hill Road.

Contraption Captain and I ride the last short leg home.  We're going to buy some more lights to give away, we decide. 

We get home to the usual turmoil of happy kids and departing nanny.  C. Captain takes off his bike shoes and goes to put on his around-the-house-and-office shoes.  They are not in his bike bag.  He considers.  Where could the shoes be??

1.  He left them at the office.
2.  He left them at the side of the road when he went fishing for the bike lights.

He tells me something a little unintelligible and hurries back down the stairs.  I hear the garage door open.  He pedals away and returns a few minutes later with the shoes that were sitting neatly on the sidewalk at the corner where we stopped.  Woops.


  1. Congratulations on your successful light giveaways, that's great! I'm thinking I need to go ride around the university area, or perhaps downtown, where there are more cyclists. I am seeing one to none per night on my route. Guess the cold is keeping the dark cyclists home.

  2. @John Romeo Initially I just wanted to carry some lights that I could give away if I happened to see someone. As soon as I *had* lights I discovered that I really wanted to give them away. I think it's ok if you just keep a spare set on your regular route. I know someone will show up and be appreciative.

    ...otoh, un-scheduled night rides are a lot of fun..