Monday, February 06, 2012

Rides His Bike

Thought I better start riding with a helmet again.

Not much to report on, Gentle Readers of This Blog--I am commuting to work every day just under two miles. Since I've heard that the bridge I would ride under on the bike path to reach my new office is being replaced--I have to ride on a busier street. The street is really a regular residential street, but a lot of drivers use is as a quick short cut--and by quick I mean speeders.

I've started to wear my road helmet on my very short commute. Mainly because its white and more visible. Also I put two very bright red strobe lights on the back of my bike to caution the speeding motorists to just relax and slow up a second. My new coat is a wind and water-proof shell. I got it 30 percent off so although expensive, it is a coat I could wear on Brevets--I like the bright red again for visibility. I'm told all the "Bros" wear them, but always black. A "Bro" is a frat boy--usually a bit drunk and loud--but for the most part harmless. I've seen them after being at one of Rico's shows. They're just out having a good time.

Very bright red strobe lights. You can't tell but yeah they're bright and they flash big-time--you can see them for at least a half mile or more.

I can tell when an impatient driver is coming up behind me by the sound of their engine--they want to speed up to pass me, but since I'm riding about 16 MPH they usually have to back off a bit and wait. Some people don't give a fuck and just pass me at 45 MPH. Again, this is a residential street and the speed limit is 30. But some people don't care--I'm just in their way...

Almost always these guys have to wait for the very very long light right at Barker and 23rd St--23rd street quickly turns into East K-10 just about a mile after the Haskell Campus--its a direct route to Kansas City. Cars wanting to turn left to go to KC have to wait about 5 minutes--yeah its a long light for me to cross too and then I'm at work.

I also have installed a very bright white strobe light up front on my handle bars--you've probably seen them mes amis--just trying to make sure the drivers coming the other way know I'm there.

Lawrence is a small city/little town and people speed everywhere short distances. Even Rico does this when I ride with him. Downtown is a mile away and he's driving with his foot on the floor--I'm like, "where's the fire Boy?" My route is one of the few that the streets go through without a bunch of lights and stop signs. Unfortunately its the only way I have to ride to work now with the construction blocking the bike path.

Hiawatha Hall, one of the original Haskell buildings from the late 1880s. It was used as the Women's Gymnasium up until about 15 years ago.

The Sun is coming up over the Gazebo--used to be the parade grounds.

I make it home.

A few days ago it rained pretty good. I wore my wind and waterproof jacket, and then some inexpensive rain pants I had bought while visiting Tulsa for Christmas. The rain pants really did the trick, mes amis! I was amazed that I was quite snug and dry when I arrived at the library--mainly I was a bit wet from the sweat I had worked up riding in to work. So I would say $45.00 for a pair of rain pants--ones that are breathable--was a good investment. I could wear my read jacket and the pants on a Brevet should the weather be such as rain and wind.

I can also tell you that a few times I've almost been hit in the cross walk at that busy intersection I told you about. In every case, I'm waiting at the light, it turns green, and the car drivers are turning left. For some reason, every time, drivers don't seem to see me. I'm not sure why. I think because the light for them to get on busy K-10 is short, and by habit they get moving.

Today a lady suddenly realized she was about to hit me and she slowed down--she was a bit embarrassed and I could see that she was saying she was sorry. I gave her a friendly wave--its okay I said--no harm done. I might have to dismount and walk my bike--or maybe put on my bright green-ish neon vest (will fit over my red coat) to help people see me.

I don't know why they can't? Also, really would be best to ride my bike in the crosswalk because the light is short and that would mean less drivers getting through if I was walking. I may also just ride in the street and up to the light. This is hard because its up-hill and would be harder for me to gain momentum. Also people that were behind me that wanted to turn right would be inconvenienced.

One thing, as soon as that light turns yellow, man those bastards speed up and freakin' run that light! Man they just floor it. Everybody at that intersection is watching out because if you started to turn--you'd get hit by some fucker flying through that red light! My fear is that one day there will be such an event, and I'll be there trying to dodge pieces of shattered metal! And I'll be the poor bloke standing on the corner just minding his own beeswax waiting to cross the street!

With some luck, this will never happen on my watch, Gentle Reader!

Cheers! Bruce

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