I’ve left the shaking, rattling rolling East Coast (hoping Irene will duck out to sea), and returned to the bucolic Midwest.
First thing I noticed was yes, a lot of people ride bicycles here 🙂 Getting the ride back from the airport there were at least half a dozen commuters on the little stretches of bike-friendly roads on our car route.
This morning was a little less than bike-friendly — yes, I’ve been off the bike for a week and not tuned in as well, or I’d have noted that the Carle truck that went by on State and turned was the one that pulled in… and almost doored me. That is, I believe the very first time in my life that’s happened. I had, at State and Logan (or whatever its name is there… is it White yet?), just woken up enough to feel suddenly blissful at greeting all these people so I hollered “Thank You!” and got an unintelligible answer that, I’m afraid, was in the tone of “you should have…” moved further over or somethign. Welp, it wasn’t as if he’d pulled in there as I approached and could see it and, oh, yea, there’s that stuff we learned in driver’s ed — that it is the *parked* dude’s responsibility to make sure there’s no oncoming traffic before opening the door… but of course, he is correct — I think I might have had clearance anyway (I was on the left half of the bike lane) but no, I’m not *sure.*
Then I proceeded to hit every light wrong, except Mattis & Church, where I sprinted as I saw teh tanker truck wending through the left-turn-on-Mattis-before-the-light-change and that there were six cars in the left lane on Church… so I did manage to catch the clot and get through with it.
There were many, many bicycles; I believe there were more than previous years, because several times we really were the dominant traffic… more than one cyclist going the same direction, with no cars between. I pondered the difference between the fourteenth ranked town in percent of commuters and the actual density of cyclists on the roads — it would be nice to get the kind of density that other high-percentage communities have.