If you’re a regular reader, you may have noticed that I have a thing for Gore.
Why? Well, there are a number of reasons. The primary reason is because every piece of Gore gear that I have acquired fits me well, functions amazingly, and holds up incredibly well. They just plain work–whether it’s a jacket, pants, gloves, bibs…they work. I haven’t been disappointed with a single piece of their gear.
Other reasons? The stuff looks good. They have great, friendly local staff. They have great customer service. They have great local bike shops that stock their gear, so you can try it on. They have informative seminars. And on top of all of that, Gore-Tex was the fabric of choice during my formative years, and quite honestly, it still has a certain allure.
This morning, weather in Illinois was conspiring against my best laid plans to ride. I’m still on the Three A Week plan, with at least 3 hard rides per week, plus whatever other miles I get. It was 50 degrees and foggy this morning. And by foggy, I mean the air was so heavy with water that it was foggy-misting-raining. I thought about riding the trainer (or sleeping in), but here’s the thing about having good bike gear: there is never an excuse not to ride. So despite the rain, I threw on my Fusion GT AS jacket, and hit the road.
I had planned a route on some local gravel, leading to an unexplored area that I think is a forest preserve. When I got outside the garage, I realized how bad visibility was–it was ‘see 10 feet in front of your face’ visibility. I decided that riding on the road–on any road–was a bad idea. Accordingly, I hit the local walking and golf course paths. It’s hard to impress upon you how bad the visibility was at 5am. This is a view of my bike, from 5′ away, with a clean, dry lens:
I rode the Mukluk for a few reasons: it’s a harder workout at lower speeds; inclement weather doesn’t phase it; it accommodates bomber runs across just about any surface; and it was set up for my previously planned exploration route.
In lieu of exploration, I opted for exercise. I was cranking as hard as I could, as fast as I could, down a path I’ve ridden many times. I was thinking about all of the things I had to do today. I was contemplating the video from this past weekend. I was getting into a good cadence, pushing hard, riding fast. I didn’t notice that I was overriding my headlights, and going too fast for the visibility that was available at that moment, with the fog.
I came up to a 180 degree gooseneck corner that has a radius of about 10 feet, and obstacles on the outside edge that would be unpleasant to ride into. I knew the corner was there; I’ve ridden it a million times. It’s just that at this moment, my mind was elsewhere. So when my brain registered that my headlights were illuminating the edge of the path and certain doom, somewhere, my mind went into motorcycle mode. I’d rather take a low-side (falling on the inside of a corner and sliding) over a high-side (falling off the outside edge of a corner, and flying) any day. I tried to muscle the Mukluk into the turn and leveraged the bars over, diving into the corner at 20+. It started turning and for a brief moment, I thought I’d be ok…until the front tire washed out on the sopping wet pavement, and I went down hard on my elbow and hip.
I’m fine. A small amount of bloodshed, and a little bit of road rash, from my impromptu slide into home. So you see, when I hit the road, I hit the road. (Also, hence the Falling for Gore title. It’s a day for bad puns).
The other aftermath? Surprisingly little. The 2 contact points on the bike were the rear skewer:
And the Ergon GS grips up front.
I’m a big fan of the Ergon grips–I use them on all of my flat bar bikes–and here’s another example of why. They’re just plain reliable and functional. That nice metal lock-on end to the grip? Perfectly placed to save your bars (and hands).
The other aftermath?
The Fusion took one for the team. When I went down, I went down on my left elbow, hard. I’m going to have to investigate those goretex adhesive patches now, I suppose.
I’m going to say that, for the record, I’m terribly impressed by the jacket’s performance today. It goes without saying that, despite the weather, the jacket kept me perfectly dry (everywhere that was covered), without making me sweaty. And when I went down on the pavement, the damage to the jacket was really pretty minimal. It could’ve been worse in a lot of ways.
It’s good stuff. It just functions well. I’m going to go back to icing my hip and elbow now.