If Only My Bike Had a Windshield

This isn’t directly bike related, but it is road spray related.

Back about 25 years ago, a reporter and I did a newspaper story on the train that ran from Miami to Chicago. (I think it was the Silver Meteor, but that’s not important.)

In those days, the toilets flushed directly out on the track. If you looked into the bowl, you could clearly see the ties rolling on by. I’ve walked many a mile of railroad track as a kid, but I had never seen any evidence of where the “debris” ended up.

On the second evening of the trip, I found out.

I wanted a nice scenic of the train going around a curve with the setting sun glinting off the shiny cars. I stepped into the vestibule between two cars at the rear of the train that was running at about 80 mph and opened a window.

Just as I had hoped, about that time, the train went around a gentle curve, the warm, evening light glinted off the side of the cars…. Then, a curious brown cloud blossomed about six cars ahead.

I pulled my head back in, but not before the cloud enveloped me.

When I took my glasses off and looked at myself in the mirror, I looked like a reverse raccoon. I was uniformly sepia-toned except for the white marks where my glasses were.

Mystery solved.

Semi-biking content: supposedly you don’t have to worry about that these days. Shortly after my experience, some fishermen under a bridge near Jacksonville, FL, got a similar shower. They made a stink about it, so to speak, and trains now have holding tanks, I believe.

Now, all we have to worry about is the infamous blue ice from airplanes.