Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Bike Commuter

I’ve been riding my 1977 Raleigh Super Grand Prix lately. The bike, which my father helped me pay for new when I was a teenager, is still mostly original. I have the fenders on it, which is a love-hate relationship—and the Brooks B-17 saddle which completes the retro look. I just can’t seem to true up the fenders and there’s always a spot where they rub the tire. As soon as I get frustrated and take off the fenders, the rains will come.

My commutes in the mornings are uneventful. But I’m noticing more than usual the asshole tactic where car drivers veer over as close as they can without hitting me. This is usually just by inches.

I can tell the difference between someone who is just unaware to those drivers who purposely execute this maneuver—they are looking in their rear-view mirror for my reaction. My appropriate reply is the finger.

But again, Gentle Readers of This Blog, most drivers have no problem with me riding my bike and sharing the road. And when there’s a situation, I always signal my intent to drivers and try to make it clear as to what I’m doing.

For example, I’m riding along a pretty good clip last night on busy Ina Rd. A few hundred yards up ahead, a car driver pulled over and parked in the bike lane to take a cell phone call. I look over my shoulder and signal the car coming up behind me that I will need to move over into his lane—out of the bike lane— to pass the stopped car ahead. The drive immediately signals and moves over to give me the lane to pass. This is courtesy and respect on both our parts. I give a friendly wave to the driver as he passes me to say thanks!

On the way home I take the River Path. Here's a young woman out riding this evening.
There's a pretty moderate headwind for me for the commute home.

This young horse was a bit wary of the bike, but the young woman did a good job of keeping him focused.

Before I do the long climb up La Cholla and then to my car, I got to adjust those fenders a bit. You might notice that I bought a bicycle bell--I'll show those mean car drivers that try to un-nerve me that I'm the Man! In a very civil and polite way of course

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