More on Bike Commuting

With the break in the heat, it's been easier than ever to bike back and forth to work. I've even found a new, better route with a shorter, sharper uphill on the morning ride it, which makes the whole trip easier. And the new route is much less windy, which means I can forgo getting a helmet like this one.

But I'm continually awed by the utter inability of many drivers to figure out what to do with me. So routine as to be unnoticed now are the SUV pilots who swing waaaaay out into the oncoming lane as they pass me, so unsure are they of their vehicles' dimensions. I don't mind the extra space, of course, but as true SUVists, the drivers are often going well over the speed limit and often make this maneuver even when traffic's coming right at them. Oddly, the drivers of juggernaut-sized pickup trucks usually don't move over at all, which has given me some wonderful opportunities to closely inspect their passenger-side mirrors.

Then there are the stop signs, which cause trouble in three ways. First, my fellow bicyclists almost never even pause for them, much less come to a more-or-less complete stop. Yesterday I was almost T-boned by an older (helmetless!) biker who zoomed through a stop sign on a side street and at the last second veered behind me. Second, and in consequence, drivers who see me stop are often confused as to just what I'm doing, and throw out the rules of stop-sign etiquette. If I have the right of way, they go when I go, and we do that awkward, stop-and-go thing. If they should go first, they wave me through. And then, third, there are drivers who pull up next to me at a stop sign - even when I've purposely put myself in the leftmost third of the lane, so nobody can really get around me. I've had cars pull up to my right and then turn left alongside me, cars on my right turn left in front of me as I try to go straight, and worst of all cars pull up on my left to attempt to turn left, to turn right, or to just go straight.

The lesson, I guess, is to keep one foot off of my pedals at all times - not for balancing, but for kicking a dent in some idiot's door.

email: christopher at tassava dot com