I remember as a kid Steven Spielberg’s short lived tv series, “Amazing Stories”. It mirrored The Twilight Zone, but not nearly as thought provoking. Rod Serling could sure spin a yarn. I’m sure for the time the budget for A.S. was astronomical, but when you put, “baby” in front of the names of everyone you meet in Hollywood, walk around in knickers, wear a beret and smoke from a cigarette holder, you can produce anything you want too.
One of my favorite episodes involved a B-17 Bomber during WWII. It had just finished dropping bombs discriminately on little Monopoly looking buildings in Germany or Japan and was headed back to the base, where the pilots could find liquor, a couple of broads and their orders to risk their lives again, flying deeper into hostile lands. As they were returning home, their landing gear wouldn’t deploy after having been hit by an enemy aircraft’s bullets. The belly gunner was trapped and the plane would essentially have to land on him for the crew to survive. Crazy shit, but that’s war or at least in this case, Hollywood.
With my groin weaker than I am comfortable with, in order to avoid really messing that area up, I spun with absolutely no emphasis on stressing that area. It made for a long, cold ride. With my Niterider on injured reserve, my headlamp has been filling in. I can’t see with it, but I am seen. This helps to ensure that in the event of an accident, that I will have been illuminated, enough for a decent settlement providing I live. If I don’t make it, the cash goes to the kids and the wife. Mo’ money for them, no problems for me.
I felt myself riding over objects, that I would have avoided given proper luminescence. On Broad right after Charley’s Bar and my daytime pee spot, I hit something that made the sound of air hurriedly escaping my tires. I wore thinner gloves and my hands were frozen. It would take me 5 minutes to blow enough warm air on them to free them from their “curled C” position formed from gripping my bars, hoods and levers. I rode a block awaiting that crappy feeling when all the air has escaped and I can feel the deflated tire sliding around the rim. Nothing. My air pressure still felt high. I began to wonder if I had run over the rarely seen North American Ice Snake, whose habitat was in Clifton, NJ. I rode steady. No sharp turns, because whatever luck I did conjure I felt was bound to run out or in my case, “ride out”. I kept thinking about the belly gunner. His miracle was that he sketched a pair of cartoon wheels that actually materialized, allowing the plane to land without crushing him.
I rode through Brookdale Park blind. It’s not very lit up, probably because the state doesn’t want you there after dark. I know the turns, but not what’s on the ground. The weather was near 20 meaning that any snow melt was now ice, so every turn was made very conservatively. Better safe than laying in a ditch sober and in Lycra. By this time my hands were useless. Rest them on the bars, compartmentalize the pain, and keep the cadence high. “Straighten Up and Fly Right”