1.10.2008

urban riding... a series of close calls

urban riding.... a series of close calls

urban riding can often be a series of close calls
this morning played out like a scene from The Dick Van Dyke Show
only it was not so funny for me to nearly trip over the coffee table each time I entered the scene


it was the standard morning madness
cars rushing to make lane changes as if their destiny depended upon it
cars rushing to be that last car through the green light when that light has long since been red

car drivers never taking into account anything other than own immediate needs

pedestrians clogging my path
pedestrians dashing across the street with not even a glance for approaching traffic

pedestrians standing in my way... then moving in my way again as I tried to circle around them
doing that dance
people zoned out unaware of the world around them

it was all a bit of a comedy of errors
only it was not so funny

on 14th Street I bounced around from near miss to near miss
not moving that fast because my bicycle selection of the day was my Jamis
Exile Single Speed
good gearing for dirt... slow gearing for street
but spinning is always good for the heart
even with the small gearing I moved faster than car traffic

the cabs moving into the lane in front of me to pick up and drop off passengers is to be expected

just as it is expected for me to either spit on their windshield of flip them off
this morning I flipped off two taxi cabs... while a dozen cabs may have been deserving of the bird

urban riding is about anticipation

I anticipate the actions of the cab driver
I expect them to cut me off and stop right in front of me
what I did not expect was the passenger door of the trash truck in the center lane to come swinging open

the truck height is such that the bottom of the door nearly decapitate me

it was too close for comedy
as funny as the clothes line move may appear in The Benny Hill Show
the clothes line in reality would not qualify as funny stuff
especially when moving at a decent clip on a bicycle surrounded by moving traffic

was able to snap some shots in between the near misses
the use of the camera did not contribute to any of the mayhem
all near misses occurred while I was fully focused on the world around me

good news for old guys like me


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