Tell Me Why…

Now that the weather has shifted to warm (sometimes too warm), I’m back to riding my bike on the road instead of spinning inside.  Even though I ride the same route, just about every day I see something that gets me thinking.

Truck With Socks

Can anyone tell me why the truck in the picture has its wheels wrapped?  They’ve been like this for weeks now.  The truck isn’t new, nor is it elaborately customized.  I never see anyone outside at this house, so I haven’t been able to ask.  I keep coming up with possible explanations, and they’re getting more fantastical each day.

At the start, I thought the tires were new and hadn’t been unwrapped.  That didn’t make sense, because they’d need to be unwrapped to be mounted.  Then I thought the truck might have been shipped, and the wheels wrapped to keep it from rolling.  However, if that was the case, wouldn’t the tires need to be unwrapped so it could be unloaded?  Then I began to imagine what the tires might actually be: giant donuts, extra-wide hula hoops, dormant pythons, swimming float rings, metal washers, wedding rings.

Can someone solve this mystery for me?

Another fun thing I’ve been watching as I bike is the creation of a possible puzzle for future archeologists.  Someone dropped a box of paperclips on the asphalt of the road.  These were spread out by passing vehicles.  Then the temperatures began to rise into the high nineties, then the hundreds, then all the way to one hundred and eleven degrees.  The asphalt softened.  The traffic continued to roll over the paperclips.

We now have a neat “fossilized” layer that looks deliberate.  I wonder what future archeologists might make of this.  My favorite is a sacrifice to a deity of office productivity and organization.  The runner-up is a sort of “outsider art” that involves imbedding materials into roadways as a sort of technological roadkill.

Less outré entertainments have been watching the urban wildlife.  My current favorite are the Gambel’s quail.  The chicks are hatched now.  Every so often I come across little flocks scurrying across the road, diving into cover beneath ornamental shrubs.  Last week they were hardly big enough to see.  This week, they’re distinctly striped.

I guess you can tell that my rides aren’t just exercise for the body; they’re exercise for the imagination as well.  I’ve been writing quite a bit, and although trucks with coiled pythons for wheels haven’t yet entered any particular tale, you never know…

7 Responses to “Tell Me Why…”

  1. Alan Robson Says:

    Clearly the wheels are feeling chilly. Normally they drive the sun god’s chariot across the skies. But now they are having a vacation and, in comparison to what they are used to, it is very, very COLD. Tomorrow they will go skiing. No matter what you might think of the temperature, you are obviously wrong.

    Yours shiveringly


  2. King Ben's Grandma Says:

    Just a guess but I think the wheel socks are for protecting the tires from deterioration caused by the weather. I’ve never seen socks like that but I have seen pieces of wood propped against tires of motorhomes for the same reason.
    Alan’s answer is more fun😕😀

  3. JM Number 6 Says:

    There are discussions about this online.
    One reason given is that if the vehicle is not being used (you said it hasn’t been used for weeks), ozone and UV can deteriorate tires (relatively) quickly. Also, heat can deteriorate rubber (the hotter it gets, the faster it deteriorates). Having an inactive vehicle wear light-colored socks may be an attempt to keep the tires useful for when they finally use the vehicle.

    Either that or it’s a devil truck with cloven hooves instead of tires, just watching the neighborhood, thinking about who it’s going to drag down into hell next for some suburban crime, like leaving the trash cans out front all day after the trash has already been picked up.

  4. Barbara Says:

    JM’s comment fits with what I’ve been told with what I should do before leaving my car sit when I am away for any length of time. Some folks say raise it up so the tires aren’t in direct contact with the garage floor. Others say roll the car onto cardboard. I have never done either but when I come home and I see that the warning light is on for low tire pressure, I think why didn’t I do something before I left.

  5. Paul Says:

    I like the coiled pythons.

  6. Barbara Says:

    Alan’s answer is indeed the most fun.

  7. janelindskold Says:

    I want to thank everyone who offered a suggestion — silly or serious. You can decide which is which!

    I definitely will be asking you to help me solve more mysteries.

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