Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Let's Be Careful Out There

I hesitate to start a blog like this, but...I was just riding along, (JRA) when I was almost hit by a car. So let us go back to the beginning. I was working on a new bell display at the Pedal House when I first noticed that it had started snowing again. Yippee, snow. (subtext: I can't wait for summer!) By closing time, it was pretty clear that I wasn't going to go shirtless on my way home. I picked up some food from Michelle at Jeffery's and was off, studded snow tires in full effect.

As I rode along I kept hearing this noise, and it was getting louder. I quickly figured out that it was just my labored breathing, and trudged on through the snow. It was cold, but at least visibility was surprisingly good. The snow made everything a little brighter, so my headlight was glaring out at the motorists as I pedaled toward home. As I crossed fifteenth on Ivinson, a lady in an SUV slid through the red light and came withing inches of hitting me. She was being careless, but it didn't matter because she was safe in her car. I almost peed myself.

Truthfully, I never stopped pedaling. I had a feeling I was safe, but it still scared me. I had a night sun and a rear blinker, and I was still almost hit. I think if she wouldn't have seen me she might have blown through the red light. Scary.

Two blocks later an aggressive "Get on the sidewalk, I should door your (explicit, explicit)." I was riding legally down 15th turning onto Custer when this happened, and of course I calmly and respectfully replied that it was illegal for me to ride on the sidewalk, and like Mary Poppins, I rode home happily.

The moral of this story is, get good lights, be calm and assertive when dealing with motorists. And for heavens sake drive defensively. Don't count on motorists to see you, even if you have a high dollar light mounted on your handlebar. Follow the rules of the road, but don't expect anyone to care about your safety. It is cynical to say that, and really, REALLY nice when a motorist is respectful of your right to travel on the road, but you have to be hyper aware of your surroundings, because you don't have bumpers. Happy Trails from the Pedal House.