Friday, November 09, 2007

A close call

I almost got nailed on the way home on the bike tonight. This is one of the first times I've had a close call all year; I'm actually feeling safer on the bike than I do in a car these days. My biggest problem tends to be the weather, now that it's getting cold again. I'm piling on the polarfleece layers, and I'm wearing good gloves and a headband to keep my ears warm, but it can still get a bit chilly on the ride. I generate my own windchill factor. It's also getting dark pretty darn early. My summer project of taking a different route home every day is now over, since there are only one or two basic routes that are well lit and not swarming with cars driven by idiots. But I'm still having fun with the ride. Even bundling up has its advantages; for one, you can't tell I'm wearing headphones with my jacket and headband on. And the headband cuts down on wind noise enough that I can listen to audiobooks while I ride.

Oh, yeah: I almost forgot. I narrowly avoided getting hammered by a guy in a tricked-out Ford Probe. I was pedaling down Brookside through the intersection at Rural, and the guy in the Probe came flying north down Rural without his headlights on, zooming at about 80 mph, and ran the stoplight without slowing down. I probably wouldn't have seen him in time if he hadn't had blue neon undercarriage lights. As it was, I had a brief moment of panic when I figured out I was going too fast to stop before I was in his path. I ended up slamming into a hard skid turn to the north and missing the guy by less than a foot. For the quarter-second it took him to pass me, we were riding parallel on Rural. I was totally unstable from the harsh turn and fell over as soon as he passed, but I didn't even get scratched. Which is another advantage of bundling up for the cold: extra padding....

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