Day’?s Verse:
Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
2 Cor. 9:6-7

Once upon a time, when I was in high school and old enough to know better, I found a large suction cup on the dinner-table…

This completes today’?s finish-the-story. I have a couple of other less embarrassing but more nerve-wracking stories from my commute to share, however.

  1. Thursday morning, I turned came around a corner on my bike and saw a bus on the other side of the road with its red lights flashing. A good vehicle, I pulled up next to the car stopped on my side of the road and came to a stop myself. When the bus moved on, I started on my way, only to come to a screeching (in all meanings of the word) halt when the car I had stopped next turned right into the residential driveway on my right rather than continuing straight as I expected. In short, I was right-hooked, and it was totally my fault. Moral of the story: Never pass or pause by cars on their right.
  2. This morning, riding straight along a stretch of road, a gigantic, long, green Cadillac turned left into me. Actually, it turned left into where I was going to be in about two seconds. So in that two seconds, I swerved off the road and, incidentally, into a patch of sand that instantly brought me toppling down to my right. This was probably the best possible outcome of this scenario, as I fell away from traffic and hardly got bruised because I fell into such a soft pile of sand and grass.

    Several cars have pulled this maneuver several cars on me because I ride a bike, although my fall today was the first caused by that. In a car, I would take up the entire lane, and another driver would never think, Gee, of course I can squeeze my car into that lane with another vehicle going by. The frustrating thing is I know that the driver saw me: It was broad daylight. There were no obstacles between me and the driver. I was in the correct lane, traveling between 15 and 20 miles an hour. I had my flashing front light on. The driver knowingly and deliberately turned into the road essentially right where I was riding, and when I fell, he kept right on going. Moral of the story: No matter how safe and legal I ride, stupid car drivers will endanger my life.

If both these scenarios seem to make biking on the road seem pretty dangerous, at least I wasn’?t on the sidewalk.

Statistics show that you’?re nineteen times more likely to suffer a collision from riding on the sidewalk rather than riding in the street. [Citation]

Good illustrations are atBicycle Safety: How to Not Get Hit by Cars.

UPDATE [6 Oct 07, 7:20 pm]: So you don’?t have to worry, check out the safety gear I use and techniques I routinely use:

Helmet (duh!) with reflectors on the front and back
Blinking rear light
Blinking front light
Reflective tape inside my wheels
Neon/bright-colored/reflective clothing*

Techniques: (Note for short attention spans: Most of these can be summed up by saying that I ride my bike as much as possible in the same way that I would drive a car.)
No longer passing cars on the right (this is a new resolution I have been following devotedly for my last few rides)
Yelling when endangered
Riding through intersections with my hands on the brakes
Slowing through intersections
Riding out in the road on narrow/dangerous roads and coming to cross-streets
Riding at least five feet from parked cars
NEVER riding on sidewalk
NEVER riding on the wrong side of the road
Frequently checking traffic behind me
Using hand signals when turning or moving left into the lane
Riding in as straight of a line as possible on all roads; checking several times before moving left
Riding on smaller, lesser-used streets when practical
Staying at least a foot or two from the edge of the road/curb

*If you ever feel like buying me bright-colored, reflective bike clothes because you worry for my safety, be my guest.
KF quality

2 thoughts on “Finish the Story

  1. Wow–that page makes bicycling look very dangerous indeed. Have you got all the safety gear they recommend?

    I’d like to state that #9 is a serious danger for peds as well and has happened to me many times, including being honked at while crossing legally by cars that want to turn right on red, and having a driver yell at me that the signal was on the red hand (presumably because he was watching the crosswalk signals instead of looking for pedestrians).

  2. Well, those of us who love you are happy to hear that you’re doing all you can to be safe. We’ll assume that those brightly colored bike clothes are on your Christmas list!

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