Friday, September 19, 2008

My Perfect Score

Never mind all that shit about the world's financial markets teetering on collapse, this week i broke a new record in getting harassed by drivers!

Honestly, i don't know how i did it. In the 4 instances (one for every day this week so far, and Friday ain't over yet) that i managed to raise the ire/almost get hit by a driver, I'd been riding 100% within the law. Here are the highlights:

Monday afternoon - Heading home, the intersection of Center and Pacific by Depot Park. i've come over the bike bridge and am waiting patiently at the stop sign for my turn. The problem is, all the drivers seem to view this as a 3 way intersection as there's no oncoming car traffic from the bridge, when in fact, the bike path makes it a 4 way. I start to cross the street for Pacific, a black compact making a left in the opposite direction doesn't see me and stops mid-way in the street. Luckily for me, he doesn't accelerate.

Tuesday morning - Riding in the full lane heading south on Soquel where it intersects w/ Front St. The road is practically empty (hence i'm riding in the middle of the lane) and everything's green including a left turning signal which i'm about to take. Unfortunately, a woman in a compact doesn't see me coming head on and starts to make a right - right into my lane. As i'm breaking, i don't have time to reach for my bell and end up yelling, "hey, Hey, HEY!!" Woman stops in the middle of the lane and i pass with maybe 3 feet between us.

Wednesday morning - The signs on East Cliff Drive right by the train bridge state something like "Bikes May Use Full Lane" or "Watch for Bicycles" - For about 30 feet I have to take the full lane in order to make a left to get on the bridge path. On this morning, i do as i always do, and signal to the cars behind me i'm about to make a left. As i do this, a guy in a truck rolls down his window and says sarcastically, "NICE SIGNALING!" Maybe he didn't see me?

Thursday afternoon - I'm at a stop light at the intersection of Morrissey and Soquel, heading south, trailer in tow. It's "rush hour" and the cars are thick. I'm in the bike lane but once the light turns greens, my intention is to move two lanes over so I can get onto Soquel again as going straight would take me onto Water St and that's not where I wanna go. But i dread this intersection - the space for getting into the left merge lane is short and hard enough to do in an auto. The issue here being drivers have a short temper when it comes to being behind something slower and smaller than them, which translates to me having much pressure to haul as much ass as possible.

Luckily today, there's a backlog of cars ahead which means I don't have to ride like there's an angry multi-ton mechanical bull breathing down my neck. The light turns green, i pass the intersection and get alongside cars merging to the left. I signal left and look directly at the closest driver and mouth "can I get in?" - she lets me in, and because of the trailer, I take the full lane. As we're all slowly inching forward, a large truck with a moose logo and something about electronics passes me on the right, and yells "ASSHOLE!"

Maybe he used to bank with IndyMac.

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