Driving and Biking in the Big City

Near death on four and two wheels

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First on four

An astute co-worker gave me fair warning for my going-home commute yesterday that the Spring Break traffic was out in droves visiting the nearby museums and zoo. An inner-Looper, she’d spent 30 minutes getting out of the Med Center and was quite disgruntled. I didn’t heed her warning quite as early as I should have and ended up going down Holcombe – always a crowded street at quitting time and not at all my first choice. I was just in time to be right in front of a wreck as an inexperienced Med Center driver of what I suspected was her ill father ran a red light and smashed into the car behind me. I had to hold tight to the steering wheel as I watched the melee in the rearview mirror and then come around to the lane beside me – fenders bending and flying through the air. I thought my adorable Xterra Vinny and I were going to be damaged, but, when the dust settled, we were just in front of the mix. I stopped to render aid, of course. No one was truly injured but the poor young woman who had clearly been unsettled was now tragically hysterical. The car behind was packed with out-of-school urchins who seemed pretty bendy and unharmed.  

Then on two

A hawk like this one buzzed me.

You’d think suburban biking would be a walk in the park. A little slice of vacation from the concrete jungle. Not always true! Drivers in the ‘burbs are the worst. They don’t care if I’m coming, do not pay any attention to pedestrian walkways, have too many activities going in the vehicle and want to get wherever as quickly as possible. One of my favorite 10-mile routes takes me past a highly popular park with an excellent basketball court. Traffic is always yammering. I’m cycling along a bit too fast and on a bit of an incline when it becomes clear to me that the truck full of teen-aged boys is not stopping for me or no one. I slam on the brakes, put down a foot and am still teetering into their grill. Finally,finally, they see me and do not kill me.

After I wasn’t killed, I went on to have a really eventful bike ride. I was dive bombed by a pretty cool hawk that perched in a tree in front of me and gave me the hawkeye as I passed. I think he was sizing me up for supper and decided I was no easy prey. Also went through a bunny patch, spotting six of them along my route, some very docile and unworried at my invasion.


Written by commuterchroniclesdbh

March 14, 2012 at 5:12 pm

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