Thursday, March 3, 2011

pre-flight checklist mnemonic

I've been re-reading Joseph Hallinan's Why We Make Mistakes, and one of the things he points out is that pilots have been effective in reducing errors by using such things as pre-flight checklists. I've had a couple of embarrassments on the bike that might have responded well to a pre-flight checklist... but I'm also not geeky enough to actually use a clipboard before I jump on the saddle.

I am, however, geeky enough to develop a mnemonic to remind me to do some checks before I pedal away. As I thought about "incidents" from the past year, and how I could remember to forestall them, I came up with W, A, A again, B, S... and I thought, "OK, my mnemonic will be WASABI":
W: Water. Take the bottles out of the car and put 'em on the bike. (When I transport the bike in the car, the bike is on its side flat, and the bottles would leak out into the car, so I don't put 'em into the cages until I'm at the start point. Sometimes, they don't get into the cages at all...)
A: Axle. Check the quick releases; is either one loose?
S: Speedo. Reset the computer.
A: Air. Make sure the tire pressure is OK. Got tubes, pump, CO2, patch kit?
B: Brake. When I transport the bike, I take the front wheel off, and I have to release the front brake. It would be a good idea if I reset it before pedaling away - and especially before that looooong downhill!
I: I haven't got anything for the "I" yet, but I suspect something will turn up. And I couldn't "backronym-up" anything else.

Sheesh. There is no bottom to my geekiness. I suspect in about three weeks I will be running around the bike with a clipboard.

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