Monday, June 1, 2009

Close Call

I decided that, on my commute to work this morning I would count how many cars passed me. I did this because it makes my Lovely Lovely nervous when I commute, and I wanted to show her that the traffic wasn’t as heavy as she was afraid it was. Then, since I was counting anyway, I decided to count not only how many cars passed me, but how many passed me safely. I got up to 9 of 11 when I lost count.

You may think that this either means that I can’t count very high or that I have a very poor memory, but the numbers were wiped out of my mind by a burst of adrenalin as a woman in a silver pickup truck apparently decided to kill me. She was in a driveway waiting to come up, so I did what I usually do – I made eye contact with her. I’m quite sure that she saw me. She just decided that she was in a hurry, that’s all.

What’s the life of a cyclist worth? Well, to this lady it is apparently worth about five seconds of saved time.

As I was approaching her, she gunned her engine and shot out in an attempt to cut me off. I didn’t know that I could slam on my breaks hard enough to make my tires squeal. It turns out that I can. The driver of the truck swerved around me and then took off down the road without bothering to say “Sorry” or even slow down to make sure that I was okay.

Another car came up behind me a few seconds later. After that, there was absolutely nothing. The driver of the truck would have been scant seconds slower had she decided to wait and do things safely, but, hey, it’s just a guy on bike, right?

Aside from that, it was a pretty nice ride. As I was filling my bottle this morning, my daughter asked, “You’re going to ride?!” (Only an eleven year old can sound quite that incredulous.)


Then she decided to be nice and warn me. “It’s sixty something out.”

“That’s okay.”

Out the driveway and up that first hill. I hate that first hill. It starts about fifty feet after I leave the driveway, and my body is seldom ready for it. A short way down the road is the yard with the three dogs (only two of whom were out today.) The large dog barked at me, then the small dog chimed in.

It sounded for all the world like a big guy talking and the little weasely guy who hangs around with him repeating the key words because he can’t think of anything of his own to say.

Aside from that, there was no excitement at all on the ride, and I was okay with that. My friend in the pickup truck has given me quite enough excitement for one day, thank you very much.

The great part about being able to ride in this morning is that I have an errand to run at lunch time, so that’s more time on the bike. It’s a great day – 71 degrees out, not a lot of wind, although both of those things may well have changed by the time lunch rolls around.

My day has started well. I hope yours has, too.

See you on the road.

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