6.29.2006

short ride in...

this morning there was no time for a pre-work ride
there is seldom time for a pre-work ride
at the time I am a little early I like to extend the dogs walk in the woods
but... normally I am struggling to get to work on time

this morning was no different

this mornning I gathered my tools of technology (cell, blackberry, and digital camera)
as well as my clothing for work
as a commuter even on my short ride I break a sweat
so I leave shoes/assorted pants/some shirts
which leaves me traveling with nothing more than clean socks, underwear, and a t-shirt
no need to throw out my back traveling around town like a bag lady
with my gear in my bag I pointed towards work

the most immediate route was bumper to bumper
so I opted for a slightly less direct route.... that is also bumper to bumper
but more friendly for splitting lanes

on my short ride into work I think it would be safe to say that there was not one city block where a car driver did something that put my life in jeporardy
well... if I did not anticipate their actions before they executed them

there were speeding cars not yeilding to oncoming bicycle traffic
there was oncoming traffic playing chicken with me
there were metro buses rolling through stop signs
there were all sorts of cars rolling through stop signs
agressive lane switches
erratic panicked U-Turns
left hand turns from right hand lanes
and you guessed it
right hand turns from left hand lanes

it was the standard morning chaos
nothing to get my heart rate up
nothing out of the ordinary... just another morning in the city dealing with the idiots and assholes on the road

sure I slowed and stopped and tried to explain to the asshole that looked like tom ridge as he nearly flattened me just two blocks from my work
as he moved from the center lane to the space in the left lane that I was occupying
he never rolled his window down
his dumbfounded expression showed lack of understanding for my pandemonium

well.... he may have understood my last set of gestures as I motioned with a point to him
then the action of masturbation
trying to let him know that he is a jerk off
but.... he should already know that
I am certain someone has told him before

the main message of this morning's rant is that it is vital for the bicycle to look out for themselves
no one is concerned about the cyclist's safety but the cyclist themselves
and those that are concerned
well, honestly... it is hard for a car driver to anticipate the cyclist
that bicycle approaches fast
appears out of no where
does not take up enough room in the rear view mirror to gather the attention that a Mack truck does
so even those that are looking for cyclists seldom see them

so the cyclist that opts to ride in the lane obeying the law is often less safe than the cyclist that zigs and zags through the lanes
as I move through the city streets I always work to put myself in the safest place on the street
that spot changes
splitting lanes/taking the whole lane/a few feet on the sidewalk
there is a method to the madness

when moving on a one way street I that street intersects alternating one way streets
that is how things work in this town
when rolling down these streets I move in a fashion where I avoid the line of left turning traffic on one block
then move to avoid right turning traffic on the next block
I know trouble points where to expect cars stopping for passanger pickup and where tourists may stall to gape and take a photo
to some non-cyclist on looker my actions may seem erratic
but these actions and these movements are well thought out
these actions are thought out in advance
and
these actions are up for modification at the moment of execution
there is no cruise control
this is a situation of focus and control

I have been the victim of the driver with the braille dashboard before
ridden on their hood
kissed their windshield
trying to keep future contact from happening again

that is enough now
I am tired of typing

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