who would think that so much could happen in 20 minutes

my commute to work is short
I wish I could extend it and get in a pre-work ride

with helping the boys get dressed, making sure that they have eaten, walking the dog, and brushing my teeth
I am barely making it into work on time
so... I make a mad dash across town on the bike

some mornings I miss the second cup of coffee
other morning I miss brushing my teeth

heading out the alley behind my house there is almost always a car speeding up the block behind me

no matter what the distance

when I pull out

even if they are two hundred yards away
they are gunning for my rear wheel
when I make a stop at the four way intersection
it is not uncommon for the speeding car behind me to edge past me
to roll through the stop sign and make the turn
while I wait for car traffic to give me my right of way

even with eye contact...
it is not always a guarantee that cars will let me take my turn

I continue on my path

again being tailgated

again being passed fast and close

cars speed past me
only to be passed again

when going up a short climb cars pass dangerously into oncoming traffic
I appreciate them passing with safe distance
but I hope that they are anticipating the car traffic in front of them
once back in front of me

they roll through the set of Stop Signs

a speed bump is in place

cars slow for the speed bump but never stop for the sign

it may be more dangerous with the speed bump
as drivers are more focused on the speed bump than pedestrian traffic

by this point there is a good amount of pedestrian traffic trying to walk their way to work, for coffee, the metro, or the area's toddler parks

then I squeeze by the cars lined up using the bike lane as a right turn lane

always looking for parked cars with soon to be opened doors
or an anxious or aggressive driver looking to change lanes
through the light I always have to be careful
there are
spots where car drivers try to "juke" the system
to bypass the red
they often try to do a turn and an illegal turn

like it were any more legal or safe than running the light in front of them

they may save a few seconds but... one day there will be an accident... only a matter of time
hope no-one gets hurt

green lights just like red lights are viewed as yield signs

more cat and mouse

still just minutes into a multi-minute cross town commute

more cars doing illegal and dangerous things

I make a light only to dodge a line of cars behind me all running the red light sneaking through the light
from the left turn only lane to go straight
even without the light...
the illegal and dangerous
ignoring of the left turn lane was part of their intention

this is their commuter route every day
each and every day this set of car commuter make these same set of obnoxious and dangerous moves
the same people everyday putting all sorts of people at risk... including themselves

down the hill into the home stretch

always more left turning traffic wanting to be in the right hand lane

taxi cab drivers being the worst
these guys never thinking a second further into the future

I think that all the fumes have brought these cab drivers down to a level of severe profound

I try to be sympathetic

it is bad enough that they lack enough vertebrae in their next to turn their head to the side to check to see if it is clear
but for them to be mentally deficient
well... I try to be compasionate

maybe euthanasia is in order

a few more blocks more
more combat in traffic

the lights in my favor do not make things any more safe

I try to glide through like a ghost
never asking anyone to slow down or speed up on my account I am thankful when someone slows or stops to give me the right of way
but.... I tend to anticipate the worst
my trajectory is not ballaistic

my motion is always under accessment for modification

a right turn signal on a car in front of me does not mean that they are turning right

I have learned to pay closer attention to the driver's body postition than their indicator lights
where are they looking? where are their hands on the wheel?
what are they watching on the dvd player?
do they text message on their phone or do they have a blackberry?

these are all taken into account with each and every car that I approach

yes... I too am taking risks
it is risky for me to follow the laws
it is risky for me to break the laws
my being on a bicycle rather within a Chevy Suburban is a risk

my efforts are defensive

no one is concerned for my well being but me
the chaos is not organized chaos

the system that people have selected is not working

the madness only gets madder
there needs to be an evolution

maybe a revolution
this may take some thinking

the revolution will not be motorized

that andy singer cartoon was stolen from an Italian Blog


Zoo said...

people definitely suck when they're in a car which makes things even more difficult when riding at night, I was out last night in the dark with my helmet light and reflective gear and I still had someone almost run me over from behind, and then there's the people who come speeding around corners taking them wide and flying off the hills. Sometimes I wonder if it's worth trying to get my miles in at night on the bike, too bad I don't have a night job. Then again I hate the trainer still so for now this is my only choice if I want to get my miles in for the week.

D Achilleus said...

a quote from Bruce Lee is fitting here:

"organized despair"

thats what we have on our streets.

matt said...

I have a similar commute through the steets of Philly everyday. It sucks, but I (we) still do it. Sometimes I feel like putting a brick through thier windows othertimes I just have to laught. Be careful out there.