Rabbit, Rabbit!

…no, not that superstitious incantation to begin the month, but what you call the white-haired guy in kit on the nice bike who blows past you as you’re easing ’round the loop and figuring you can get in one extra lap and still get home before dark (tho’ the lights are working).  Still wouldn’t have been much more than the one minute “okay, don’t let him gain any ground” push, ‘specially since he was only goin’ 16 up the little hill where the radar machine is and I was doing 15 backing off a tad.  Then he turned up the bus loop… no idea why (maybe ’cause it’s a little hill? maybe so he could chase me?)  and came back down behind me.  He looped past the Bradley exit as I did and I pondered slowing down… naw, I … welp, hammered *really* isn’t the right word, but I was hoping he couldn’t hear my breathing 🙂  He pulled off at the Duncan exit, which is I think where he came in, so he only did one loop.

27 mile day, since I took the long way in.  I am thinking that tomorrow I’ll drop by the LBS and get a speedometer for this bike… and a new seat.  This one has hardened up or something, and chunks of it have broken off.  Yea, it was a $20 Bontrager, but I didn’t realize it wouldn’t last very long (I think I got it last year, tho’ of course the time warp factor says it could have been 2 or three).  The ten dollar “century” saddles I got lasted lots longer (but they were serious markdowns).

Baltimore Sun has a column about “obnoxious cyclists” and then goes on to say that we *should* pass a 3- foot law there, just because it is the right thing to do.  It’s a pretty good article – okay, a very good article.  It really does include cyclists’ perspectives.

However (you knew there’d be a however, didn’t you), he found a cyclist spokesperson who is a gutter bunny. “Even though” he hugs that white line, drivers buzz him “on purpose.”   The column is delightfully tongue in cheek when it talks about obnoxious cyclists who  want to lecture you about your carbon footprint … but if more drivers and columnists understood that I”m “out there” becuase that *is* where I should be, then they’d impose less ill will on me (and cyclists less on them because they’d be passing with more room – not because of a law, but because of hte perceptual changes that happen when a rider isn’t hugging the line and therefore creating the illusion that there’s enough room to squeeze past).

Of course, sometimes the lane really is wide enough (like COuntry Fair :)) – and it’s hi-ho, hi-ho, it’s to the right I go.I’m quite willing to gamble a power bar or three that Mr. Line-Hugger is not in that situation.

When someone took the columnist to task (see the comments here ) for saying riders should be as close as possible instead of as close as practicable, as the law says, Michael Dresser (the columnist) answered that that was splitting hairs, and that “possible” and “practicable” were really not different enough to matter.  In fact, it was that comment that led me to read the article, because I was going to *ask* the columnist if he knew where riders should be… but then realized that he didn’t – because his spokesperson didn’t.

I emailed him that while I agreed that hair-splitting should be left to lawyers, I had this wild dream that some writers might care about word choice (Unlike the spelling-and-grammar-impaired New Zealand teacher-bloggers, but that’s another story), and fruitless as I’m sure it is, explained lane position and even how I came to be a believer in scooting a bit away from the white line.  I hold no real hope that he’ll consider it worth investigating but I couldn’t let it go unchallenged.

After all, if more people grokked that cyclists *are* traffic and shouldn’t be cowering in the gutter  then they might be less inclined to want to ride too closely… close enough to ‘nudge’ them and knock them down, as the writer of the commute-tips link to that article was.  “Yokota Fritz,” I’m really really glad it was “just a nudge,” and I *hope* the runaway culprit lives to regret the choice to “nudge” you off the road.  (When I put up my teensy little blog about cycling, I was astounded that I had a comment within 24 hours.  It was “Cycle-licious.” )

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