Yesterday I drove Green Street in because it’s an early start day …. the 9:00 days make it easier to leave more time for easing my way down the less cleared roads and have lots more traffic to motivate me to do that instead of Green.
I got to experience the “bike lane, cars making right turns” conflict… we’re all merrily approaching the red traffic light, me in my bike lane… the cars slow and are stopping, and one of ’em has that right signal on. It turns green. The driver does a major hesitate… I waved him forward. It wasn’t even close to a right hook ’cause Sir Studly was goin’ about 8 mph (up hill, into the winds on the studs on a 50 pound bike… and I don’t want to arrive at work in a lather). Would have been a different scenario if I were going 21 mph, though.
Then I worked over to make the left onto Church, fondly recalling when that was my regular route (before the interminable construction that says it’ll be done in December… think May…be) and there was a queue of drivers turning into the Springer Cultural Center.
I got into the left lane to go around them… but, oops! That guy in the red van X?2 1978 really didn’t want to be in the queue and proceeds to pull out at me. I holler “HEY!” in what may have been the first time I completely “reflexively” hollered; it was that close. (I’m usually prone to freezing. Guess when it’s this cold I’ve already done that ;)) Close enough to hear; he stopped. I pulled right past ’em and caught up to him again at the light — no, he didn’t eevn deign to glance my way. That unpredictable voice escaped and hollered at the void between us “Not looking now, either! Hope you don’t kill anybody else this morning!” He passed me widely before making his right turn… so I’m hoping he heard.
I’m pretty sure the yahoo who was compelled to pass me in the flogging UNDERPASS under the RR tracks on Stadium east of Neil was no more hostile… like most oppressors, he couldn’t comprehend my existence and the inconvenience of waiting a few seconds.
On the other hand, this morning I approached Bradley from Country Fair with a sinking heart… I was going to *make* the green… but only its tail end, and full double-lane traffic was crouched, ready to pounce, on Westbound Bradley… no doubt many of ’em people as “almost late” as I was for an 8:00 arrival at Parkland. I planted my self in the middle of the lane… then tried to figure out with my complete lack of ability to do so whether or not the lane was wide enough for a safe passing (it’s skinnier what with the snow…) which it might have been for the little car behind me, but not the bus behind it. I heard a honk… but directed at said bus that was pulling around … and I attacked that downhill and got Sir STudly prob’ly up to … maybe 15 mph. The car behind me was… still behind me. Perhaps cruise control on 12 ’cause teh gap was widening. One of the kindly protective folks I work with, perhaps?I pedaled strongly into the turn lane and… so did the car, well behind me… and didn’t recognize the driver at all, and she just proceeded on into school, as if she hadn’t done anything remarkable…. and perhaps that’s true, but I’m remarking anyway 🙂