Bicycle commuting, day 10

Thursday, June 09, 2011

By all accounts, the weather was yucky today, but I didn't mind. It was hot and humid, but on my bike I felt a breeze, and at the end of each ride (yes, it was a round trip today) I had a cool shower and dry clothes waiting for me. The Camelbak was really handy too. I made one stop on the return trip for a breather. My heart rate was a little high, so I sat on a park bench sipping cool water from my Camelbak for a few minutes. I think it due to the heat. After that, the rest of the trip was very easy. You can't get this kind of sense of accomplishment from riding the Metro.

Minor mishap of the day: I had a too-close encounter with another cyclist. I was riding along the trail, and came to an intersection. I started to cross a street, with the light, at a very controlled speed. There was a car to my right stopped for the light, and an oncoming biker to my front and left who was travelling at high speed, and didn't bother slowing down for the intersection.

I panicked and wobbled a little when I realized that I had nowhere else to go except straight through the tight space between the car and the other bike. The other biker came close enough to knock my grip-mounted rear view mirror out of alignment while repeatedly SCREAMING at the top of his lungs "Jes.., what do you think you're doing?!?" as if it were all my fault.

It would have been tempting to say a few things myself, but I didn't. He could have approached the intersection more cautiously. He could also have maneuvered his bike to leave me a bit more room, seeing as he didn't have other cars or bikers to his right, but he didn't. I was shaking for some time after that. He could have avoided that situation altogether if he had been paying attention, but he didn't. It was a little scary. The trail isn't a race course. He was probably going 18-20 mph on a multi-use 15 mph trail. Yikes!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I walk along a bike path here and some bikes go whipping by me from behind without warning. Sometimes I can hear the displacement of the wind as they come and many of them do call out or have a horn. But occasionally I gasp as they whiz by. I'm not sure if there is a speed limit on the bike trail and they might not be going all that fast but when I'm walking it seems pretty fast, especially when I'm not expecting them.
    emoticon emoticon
    3508 days ago
  • no profile photo RITAROSE
    Wow! glad it all turned out well. I am going back to commuting to/from work after taking a winter break and getting my bike fixed. I am more nervous than ever as there have been so many bike riders who have been hit by cars in my community. I try to watch my surroundings and be careful as I know I would never come out well in a collision with a car. Congrats on all of that great exercise! I, too, love the freedom of biking! emoticon
    3508 days ago
    I bike commute to work too (both ways) and I can't tell you the number of times I've been cut off. Buses zoom around me only to stop directly in front of me. Other, faster bikers act like they own the road and that you should yield to them. It's really a pain. Good for you for sticking it out - the more considerate cyclists there are riding around out there, maybe the more people will pay attention to us and give us a little bit of respect (and space!). emoticon
    3509 days ago
  • no profile photo CD2112467
    Good going! You kept your cool! I would have been shaking after that as well!
    3509 days ago
    I'm glad you're okay after that. A few times I've been inches away from being wiped out by a cyclist on the streets of Boston. Some of them are pretty reckless!
    3509 days ago
    Glad to hear you're ok after your near miss. I can't stand to see these guys buzzing around on the paths. As a cyclist myself, I'd much rather go out on the roads and push myself than deal with all of the extra people on the paths.
    3509 days ago
    emoticon emoticon emoticon Extra points to you for dealing, quite rationally, with a cyclist who makes a bad name for other cyclists. It's not just the vehicles that are dangerous - tho they are bigger - it's bad attitude in any shape. Please don't let it deter you; it's terrific what you're doing for yourself & the environment. emoticon
    3509 days ago
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