Today is day two of May is Bike Month, and I logged my usual 2 km (okay, 1.28 miles for the imperialist bike event) trip to work. Twice on this short trip I was almost creamed by careless drivers. I credit my intuition, adhearance to traffic laws, and two pieces of inexpensive equipment for my safe arrival to work.
The first incident happened on the northbound side of the 600 block of Cleveland next to city park. I was approaching a parked car and could see a Toyota 4 Runner barreling up behind me in my mirror. I anticipated that we would approach the parked car at the same time, and because of his speed, there was no time to pull in front of him to claim the lane and avoid a possible door in my face.
I stopped when I reached the parked car and sure enough, he shot right past me with maybe well under one meter of space between the parked car and him. I dinged him.
The second incident happened in the Nugget Markets parking lot when I was about to round the corner next to the corporate office. Drivers frequently cut corners and drive way too fast in parking lots, and I usually slow to a near stop when approaching this corner in anticipation of this.
A driver in a large sedan cut the corner at a speed very inappropriate for a parking lot right at me. He didn’t appear to see me until I dinged him with my bell. Even then he merely slowed down and continued on his path, requiring me to swerve to the curb so he could pass at a safe distance.
May is bike month, not driving month!
My ride this morning clearly demonstrates the importance of riding defensively and anticipating collisions. A good mirror (Amazon kickback link) and loud bell, will only enhance your visibility and your ability to anticipate chaos.
No one notices when things go right, right? We humans commonly fall victim to only speaking up when things go wrong, and I don’t like being a victim. Despite these two instances of poor driving, I encountered many more good drivers at most of the intersections this morning.
I love when drivers treat me appropriately as a vehicle on the road. Taking the right of way when they arrive at a 4-way stop first, slowing down and giving me space when I need to take the lane, and anticipating that I need extra space when passing parked cars; all of these things happened to me on the way to work this morning as well. Thank you good drivers.