Moto Diary #3: Gridlock
Today was my first "ride to a place I actually need to be".
After completing the sale of the bike I went to the government office to get a temporary plate. The reason it's temporary is that you need to get a safety certificate from a mechanic first, however you can't yet ride the damn thing.
So you get a 10 day sticker on your plate, enough time for me get some practice, and then make the trek over to a mechanic. After 2 days of practice, I had a day off, so I went for it.
I was feeling alright after the confidence booster of day 2. Midday traffic? Sure! Why not! The mechanic was a friend's father, and the garage was actually a bit off of the route I took the other day. Perfect.
Heading up was no problem, although I missed the garage the first time around and had to turn into a side street to slowly turn around. I really need to practice sharper u-turns.
Everything checked out, and I headed back.
I stopped by a Canadian Tire on Lakeshore to pick up chain lube, as that's one maintenance item I really had to take care of. There's plenty of other stuff to worry about, but this is basic and frequent, so I gotta get started.
By the time I had reached the Canadian Tire it was getting pretty damned hot. I had full gear on, and I was sweating like crazy. I got the chain lube, and headed into now rush hour traffic onto Lakeshore.
I was moving along when I realized the road was rising up.
Huh. Wait, what?
Oh, right. Lakeshore becomes the Gardiner Expressway on the left lanes. Shit.
Too late, I geared up and got up to traffic speed. "I'm only 2 exits away, I'll be off in a few minutes. This is fine".
And then 30 seconds later it was all brake lights as far as I could see. Total gridlock.
I was in there for 15-20 minutes, but it felt way worse. It was incredibly hot at that point, and I was stressing myself having to go at a walking pace, which by the way is much harder than going fast. Speed balances a bike. My bike is very tall and very heavy. The Gardiner isn't exactly flat either.
In the middle of gridlock traffic, while trying to edge into another lane, I dropped the bike. On the highway.
Again, everyone was stopped, so it was fine. And within seconds 2 people asked if I was alright, and one guy was already reaching for his door to come help.
But I waved him off and hauled my bike back upright. In hindsight it was actually great that I dropped it so many damn times on my first day I really got my practice in.
After that I was more careful, and eventually got it home.
But I think I was very close to being dehydrated. It's a good thing I brought water and drank up at the Canadian Tire. But I was drenched when I arrived home.
Still, a good learning experience all around. No harm done. Just to my pride, which is definitely preferable to my body.