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Leaf Facehugger

T=0.000 s – The dot just below the lower tree branch extending over the middle of the road doesn’t look like much:

Jackson Rd - Leaf Impact - 2016-06-30 - 0337

Jackson Rd – Leaf Impact – 2016-06-30 – 0337

T=0.600 s – It’s fluttering, which means I’ve noticed it:

Jackson Rd - Leaf Impact - 2016-06-30 - 0373

Jackson Rd – Leaf Impact – 2016-06-30 – 0373

T=1.317 s – Rolling at just under 20 mph:

Jackson Rd - Leaf Impact - 2016-06-30 - 0416

Jackson Rd – Leaf Impact – 2016-06-30 – 0416

T=2.117 s – I know exactly what’s going to happen:

Jackson Rd - Leaf Impact - 2016-06-30 - 0464

Jackson Rd – Leaf Impact – 2016-06-30 – 0464

T=2.850 s – The camera lens is seven inches above my eye level:

Jackson Rd - Leaf Impact - 2016-06-30 - 0508

Jackson Rd – Leaf Impact – 2016-06-30 – 0508

T=2.867 s – The air stream over the fairing begins tilting the leaf:

Jackson Rd - Leaf Impact - 2016-06-30 - 0509

Jackson Rd – Leaf Impact – 2016-06-30 – 0509

T=2.883 s – Collision alarm!

Jackson Rd - Leaf Impact - 2016-06-30 - 0510

Jackson Rd – Leaf Impact – 2016-06-30 – 0510

T=2.900 s – Perfect alignment:

Jackson Rd - Leaf Impact - 2016-06-30 - 0511

Jackson Rd – Leaf Impact – 2016-06-30 – 0511

T=2.917 s – I’m now riding with an oak leaf plastered over my entire face:

Jackson Rd - Leaf Impact - 2016-06-30 - 0512

Jackson Rd – Leaf Impact – 2016-06-30 – 0512

I wear big lab-grade splash-resistant goggles over my prescription sunglasses to keep dust out of my eyes: the leaf covers the googles, I can’t see out of my left eye (and, thus, the mirror), and most of my right-eye vision has gone green. Although I managed to not inhale during the impact, the leaf forms a good seal over my nose and mouth.

T=3.683 s – Glancing to the left doesn’t dislodge the leaf:

Jackson Rd - Leaf Impact - 2016-06-30 - 0558

Jackson Rd – Leaf Impact – 2016-06-30 – 0558

Did you notice the oncoming car?

T=7.483 s – Four seconds later, I’m off the bridge and past the bushes overhanging the guide rail, so I can finally spare a hand:

Jackson Rd - Leaf Impact - 2016-06-30 - 0798

Jackson Rd – Leaf Impact – 2016-06-30 – 0798

The view to the rear, showing the car that’s been trailing 1 second = 25 feet behind me during this entire adventure:

Jackson Rd - Leaf Impact - 2016-06-30 - rear - 0135

Jackson Rd – Leaf Impact – 2016-06-30 – rear – 0135

I caught another oak leaf the same way on the rail trail a few weeks earlier at a much lower speed in much less stressful surroundings; I figured that wouldn’t happen again for quite a while.

Ya never know what’s going to happen out there on the road…

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