Friday, January 18, 2008

Commute 1/18/08

Time of departure: 7:50
Temperature: 30F

Yesterday we got hit with a sudden and serious snow. A few inches built up but were mostly eliminated later in the evening when the snow shifted to a misty rain. Bummer, I was hoping to have the fun of riding in the snow. What I did have to deal with was a narrowed area to ride in (there were some residual piles in the gutter that bled out into the lane where I normally ride) and for some reason getting honked at.

Normally my ride is pretty mellow. I tool along at the right side of the right lane on a two lane street. Sometimes there are cars that sit behind me waiting to pull into the left hand lane to pass and sometimes they pass in the right lane. There's enough room but since there aren't many bike commuters in Baltimore I think most drivers aren't all that comfortable with passing a bike. (Also, for some reason it seems that drivers here like to be in the middle or over to the right side of the lane. When I was taught to drive I was told to basically ride the left line, guess that lesson, along with the one about treating a non-functional light as a four-way stop, isn't covered in Maryland.) Anyway, most of the time I don't have much to deal with from cars. Today though I had two cars honk at me, and only one to two minutes apart. The first clearly wanted me to get off the road, but the second seemed like they were just saying hi.

I know some drivers think that's a good thing to do, and other cyclists have written about it far more eloquently than me, but if you do pass a bike, just pass them, don't honk, yell or whatever to get their attention. All it does is mess with the cyclist's head and make it more likely that they'll do something twitchy.

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