in the road... not in the lane

when I ride my bike my primary concern is to arrive at my destination alive
arrive alive? yes... arrive alive
it does not sound like much
but it is important to me
although this is clearly not important to the people driving cars around me
arriving alive is important to me

when a frustrated car driver honks a me
the driver makes one of those faces
or offers up some sign language that you don't need to know ASL to interpret
well... I do not care
as they do not understand... they are selfish, ignorant, and short sighted

I am riding in a way that hopefully puts me where I am most safe
there is a method to my madness
the zipping back and forth
the weaving in and out of traffic

all that is not an effort to have fun
it is an effort to be fast, fluid, efficient, and safe

at times there is a bike lane present
I do not always use it

there are a multitude of reasons why not to use the bike lane
the primary reason... the bike lane is not necessarily a sanctuary
the car culture does not seem to understand and respect the bike lanes enough to make that space any more safe than the road itself

and then...
then there is the design
the placement of the bike lane in the door zone
and the way that the bike lane crosses alleyways, driveways, and service roads
the bike lane is not always the most safe place to be
and then...
there is the issue of speed
how fast is rational and considerate when riding in the bicycle lane?
if a cyclist is looking to move at a rapid rate of speed
the bike lane may not be the best place for them to be
so much of the bicycle infrastructure is thinking of the slower cyclist

the faster cyclists need to take this into account
in the end
Common Sense and Common Courtesy should protect the cyclist... but it does not
the standard car driver does not obey the law
the standard car driver does not exhibit common sense or common courtesy
each and every time I get on my bicycle in the city I am at risk
a short trip to the corner store can have the white knuckled energy of a downhill mountain bike race
a cross town jaunt can have the excitement of running with the bulls

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