Archive for April 15th, 2015
It’s the start of a new riding season and we’re returning from a concert at Vassar. I’m cranking 20+ mph, pushed by a gusty tailwind.
T minus 7 seconds:
The white car approaches the intersection a bit faster than usual, which leads me to expect a New York State Rolling Stop-and-Go right turn directly in front of me.
T minus 5 seconds:
The white car slows enough that I now expect a stop with the front end well onto the shoulder. A quick check in the mirror shows no traffic behind me: I can take the lane if needed. This intersection always has a large gravel patch spanning the shoulder, so I must move closer to the fog line anyway.
T minus 2 seconds:
The white car comes to a full stop, not too far onto the shoulder, and my fingers come off the brakes. I gotta work on that fingers-up position, though.
… Whoops, a classic left cross from the black SUV!
T minus 1 second:
I’m now braking hard, barely to the left of the gravel patch.
Well, that was close.
Somewhat to my surprise, the white car hasn’t crept any further onto the shoulder.
The SUV driver gives me a cheery wave, as if to thank me for not scratching the doors. I never make hand gestures, but I did tell him he does nice work.
It’s hard to not see a faired long-wheelbase recumbent, head-on in bright sunlight, not to mention that I’m wearing my new Sugoi Zap Bike Jacket in Super Nova retroreflective lime green with retroreflective lime green utility gloves.
I. Am. Visible. In. Any. Light. Dammit.
It is, apparently, easy to mis-judge a bike’s speed, although driver-ed courses used to recommend that you err on the side of not trying to beat an oncoming vehicle. Perhaps that recommendation has become inoperative?
The corresponding maneuver by a car passing you is known as a right hook.
Memo to Self: Always look at the license plate to give the camera a straight-on picture.