On my way in this AM on Central Expressway past the Mathilda offramp, I spotted a balloon float from the offramp onto the freeway, at about eye level. I was going about 25 MPH at this point in the drops, and pulled up as I watched the balloon ominouisly float towards me. It had a string attatched to it and I know from stories and experience you don't want strings, windbreaker sleeves, etc... tucking into your spokes at speed. I tried to avoid the balloon but to no avail, it magnetically floated right at me and impact was directly into my front wheel. I prepared for my wheel to lock up so I could unclip and stay upright.
Fortunately, the balloon simply tangled onto the quick release of my front brake caliper and I dragged the balloon behind me. I rode about a quarter mile, amused, then thought better of this as the balloon could have decided to change plans at any minute.
I grabbed the balloon and took a look, expecting "Happy Birthday Tommy" or some bunk. Nope. "TRADER JOES". Note however that the balloon is "100% biodegradable!" Awesome! I guess had I gone down it would not have been due to the eco-friendly balloon, but due to the tentacle of non-100%-biodegradable plastic that was tied to the balloon.
But I do feel safe knowing that the if next turtle that swallows a Trader Joes 100% biodegradable balloon can just figure out how to breathe through said balloon for a couple of years while that balloon turns into compost, he or she will be able to complete their fulfilling life!
Public safety and the bike commute
1 day ago