Friday, May 18, 2007

A Week of Commuting by Bike

C'est moi, mes amis!

I logged quite a few miles commuting this week. Mostly it was uneventful but there were a few high points. First of all, the bike route is completed and I can ride about 12 miles on the bike path on the river, all the way to my office. Mostly the second half of my ride there are no runners, walkers, or other cyclists to be seen. This means I can ride at a good clip and not anger others by going too fast.

Sometimes, the speedy weedies, or the Lancers—guys all decked out in their race stuff—blast down the narrow river trail disregarding people walking their dogs, or walking with their kids, etc etc… You get the idea. I say to them, if you want to ride so freakin’ fast, go ride on River Ave, you skinny, boney, little bastards. Anyway, the river path is great, but there’s these “seams” where the sections connect, and damn, but they give you a jolt when you ride over them. That can take a toll on your arse after a few miles.

Then only reason I’m riding on the river path right now is that River Ave Starting at Campbell is under construction and traffic is a little slow as there’s only one lane. I think when its done, I can ride River Ave (the river path runs along River Ave for the most part) Most of Ina/Skyline has been repaved, and I believe all that work is done—so I’ll be doing that commute here soon.

Lastly, I had a very very close call. Riding into work a car pulled out in front of me on Swan Ave and drove in the bike lane to merge. Swan is a long steep hill and I come down it going close to 35 mph. When you cross the bridge over the river, you can get some good speed which carries you through to Glenn a few miles. The bike lane is nice but there's traffic. Some people drive into the bike lane, which is between slow traffic on the right, and slow traffic on the left to "cheat" and get around and cut in. So I was going along and this lady pulled out in front of me and into the bike lane so she could try to squeeze into the next lane to her left. I had to get out of the way real fast (she almost hit me right then) and jumped in between a small space of the two cars in the next lane--I'm going very fast mind you--and I need to get over in the bike lane real quick or I'm gonna get run over. Well, the lady is still in the bike lane and trying to get over between where I was between the two cars, as those drivers eased up to give me some space. She still hadn't seen me and was moving over. I was waving at her and saying, "Hey! HEY!" to get her attention. Traffic started to slow and just as she pulled into me, I shot out between the rear end of the car in front of me, and the front bumper of her car.

Dang! At the light, which had turned red, people sitting in their cars were looking at me in disbelief. A young guy in his car rolled down his window and said, "Dude! That idiot almost ran you over!"

The woman was elderly and probably just has a hard time seeing—but she did drive down the bike lane for about three hundred yards and forced me into a difficult situation—I wish she would have just waited for better chance to turn and merge.


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