Thursday, February 14, 2008

Commute 2/14/08

Time of departure - 7:50
Temperature - 28F

Fairly standard commute ride today. I've gotten used to the higher volume of traffic that I see (compared to when I was getting to work at 7).

Today I want to talk about the "helpful" driver that I'm sure everyone has encountered. This is the car (in my case today a newish Suburban) that sees you tooling down the road and decides they know what you want them to do, and they go out of their way to be "helpful". With very few exceptions (so few I can't think of any now) they aren't. They cause problems in traffic, make you do something you weren't planning on, or just muck things up.

Today's encounter went like this: One section of my ride is a long a fairly main street, which has cutouts into the sidewalk for cars, essentially an extra lane for parking and bus stops except at either end, where the sidewalk bulges back out. I ride in that area when it's open because it gives me a whole lane for long stretches and the way the lights work they're usually red when I get to the bulge and have to merge back into traffic. Today I was sliding along in a cutout, traffic was stopped, and the light turned green. I had noticed that the suburban which was just next to me had the right turn indicator on, so I cut my speed anticipating that they would pass me and make the turn. I wanted to let them get by before I pulled out of the cutout (since if I didn't I knew they would honk and try to run me over). Instead, I get a "helpful" driver who slows down even more than me, and then taps the horn when I don't pull out in front of them. I ended up having to stand up and mash to get back up to speed and not screw up traffic for the 15 or so cars behind them.

Moral of the story - just as many bike advocates push the idea that we should ride predictably, we need to get the message to the drivers that they need to drive predictably.

No comments:

Post a Comment