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Archive for March 28th, 2016

Road Conditions: 695 Rt 44 Squeeze Play

You can’t hear the horn that’s been honking for the last few seconds (sequence numbers = 1/60 s) as we approach 695 Dutchess Turnpike (a.k.a. Rt 44, a.k.a. NYS Bike Route 44):

Rt 44 at 695 - H2 Overtaking - front camera - 0113

Rt 44 at 695 – H2 Overtaking – front camera – 0113

You’ll note my fluorescent green shirt reflected in all that chrome. You can’t see the groceries tucked into the two under-seat bags; I’m not towing the trailer.

He gave us a surprising amount of clearance, given the aggressive honking:

Rt 44 at 695 - H2 Overtaking - front camera - 0186

Rt 44 at 695 – H2 Overtaking – front camera – 0186

That’s one reason I ride a bit to the left of Mary’s track.

We’re riding to the left of the fog line along that stretch of Rt 44, because the upcoming shoulder and right edge aren’t usable. Despite that, the honking pushed Mary over the decaying fog line:

Rt 44 at 695 - H2 Overtaking - front camera - 0369

Rt 44 at 695 – H2 Overtaking – front camera – 0369

She crossed back before the worst part, although the camera doesn’t do justice to the 3D aspect of the crumbling asphalt:

Rt 44 at 695 - H2 Overtaking - front camera - 0489

Rt 44 at 695 – H2 Overtaking – front camera – 0489

If you think that pavement doesn’t seem all that bad, let’s go for a ride, OK?

The events behind us show what happens when somebody in a really big vehicle really wants to squeeze past a bicyclist in a constricted lane.

Looks like he’s easing over enough to get by (sequence numbers = 1/30 s):

Rt 44 at 695 - H2 Overtaking - rear camera - 0155

Rt 44 at 695 – H2 Overtaking – rear camera – 0155

Looks snug, but I’ve seen worse:

Rt 44 at 695 - H2 Overtaking - rear camera - 0185

Rt 44 at 695 – H2 Overtaking – rear camera – 0185

That was close, but perhaps not atypical for Hummer drivers:

Rt 44 at 695 - H2 Overtaking - rear camera - 0257

Rt 44 at 695 – H2 Overtaking – rear camera – 0257

Now he can rev up and cross the double-yellow line:

Rt 44 at 695 - H2 Overtaking - rear camera - 0305

Rt 44 at 695 – H2 Overtaking – rear camera – 0305

Total elapsed time from first honk to when I finished shouting out the license plate: 16 s.

At the next traffic signal and the better part of 70 s from the first honk, he turned left and we turned right, pretty much simultaneously:

Rt 44 at 695 - H2 Overtaking - rear camera - 2274

Rt 44 at 695 – H2 Overtaking – rear camera – 2274

In lighter news, the green-painted manhole cover suggests some construction may be in-plan:

Rt 44 at 695 - H2 Overtaking - front camera - 0697

Rt 44 at 695 – H2 Overtaking – front camera – 0697

I’m not holding my breath for an improvement over the status quo, though.

Part of the problem may be that Hummers aren’t nearly the fashion statement they used to be; that failed Chinese deal didn’t help their image in the least.

FWIW and much to my surprise, H2s have chickenshit horns …

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