Tonight I was riding my bike home from my friends' place after hanging out for the afternoon. They made a nice dinner and I had to come home to get my things in order for my trip out of the Hammy (aka Bellingham.) I have been riding my bike all over town a lot lately and it is pretty sweet, minus the fact that I broke the front fender last Summer and still have yet to get the part that I need. The taste of the sandy pavement spray is comforting for the first couple minutes. The crunch can get a bit annoying, especially when chewing gum.
Anyway, tonight I was hauling at a pretty good clip. I like to go fast. I think I end up going really fast even when I start out just taking it easy. Since I quit smoking cigarettes my lungs have had a really solid capacity and if I get into my breathing I just get lost in the ride, which in turn gets me up to a decent speed. As I was riding tonight I saw a car pull up to the intersection of 32nd Street and Taylor Avenue about 150 feet in front of me.
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I have flashing Cateye lights on the front and the back of my bike that I assume are bright enough to be seen from that distance. I kept my speed and as I closed in on the intersection I saw that the girl driving wasn't paying any attention and started to pull out in front of me. I grabbed my brake handles the hardest that ever have had to. My wheels locked up and I skidded sideways for about 20 feet. I shouted at the top of my lungs (which are pretty strong these days) and the girl stopped. I slid up to the driver-side front fender and bumped it lightly with my front tire. The two girls looked at each other, looked at me, looked at each other and knowing how to read lips I saw them say "That was close. Where did he come from?" Just goes to show you how much attention you need to pay when driving.
I usually try to wear bright clothing but all of my rain gear is black. The Ortleib bags that I carry on my Surly Cross-Check also have reflective spots on the sides. I am seriously considering getting a much brighter light for the handlebars. I am also seriously thinking about picking up a bright yellow rain jacket. If you ride bikes in the Northwest or anytime at night always have flashing lights and wear a helmet. My little brother was in the hospital after a collision with a car this past year for four days. Thankfully he was wearing a helmet. He is still going through the motions with the legal proceedings. The driver only had $10,000 in personal injury and the bills amounted to over 20. If he hadn't been wearing a helmet he would not be with us today.
Ride hard, but ride safe!
I am always looking for new and interesting perspectives on Snowboarding, Skateboarding, Rock Climbing, Action Sports, and Marketing. Along with those topics some related issues that interest me are Sustainable Marketing and bridging the gap between the growing nature of businesses and the goal of enhancing the current sports industry business model to a healthier design for all!