Monday, February 8, 2010

Baby Not On Board

I won't go into the details on how I came to be hauling a Burley kid's bike trailer early last week, suffice to say, there wasn't a kid in it. But as I pulled away from the Westside and headed downtown, I figured, why not take advantage of the situation? I mean, cars occasionally still sport those "Baby On Board" signs, what if I forwent the King St bike detour (oops, I mean, "bike boulevard") and simply took the whole right lane down Mission St?

I mean, the signs Caltrans installed in the wake of 2 dead bicyclists a few years ago don't clearly state bicyclists may use the entire lane, even though legally we can. This basically translates to people like me risking the occasional horn or middle finger when exercising this right of way on Mission Street.

But what if it appears that I'm hauling a kid behind me? Would the minor harassment stop? Perhaps the trailer would have a calming effect on drivers, like a magical "don't honk, think of the children!" force shield or something...I decide to test this theory out.

Brain: From Fair Ave to Almar, so far so good. But from here on out, it's gonna get hairy...

The light turns green. I brace myself. I hold my ground and do my best to haul ass and keep up w/ the cars but it's a lost cause. I pass CVS/Longs, I reach a red at Bay, everyone's chill.

Brain: What if a semi gets stuck behind you? What if some assbag in a Sequoia crunches the Burley and pulls you under? What if....The light turns green.

I keep my pace steady this time. Any second I expect someone to quickly pull around on my left and yell something that'll make my ears burn. I pass the gas station on Walnut that seems to be kaput (I think, good, screw em'), I pass Union Street, a bike lane begins, I breath a sigh of relief. Amazing, I think, no hassle, no car drama. Maude Flanders "Think of the children!" factor. I look back at the Burley behind me, it's still intact, the Bridgestone is still intact, I'm still intact. I think, oh baby, I'm definitely on board.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Very clever and brave of you! I wish drivers were as tolerant of all cyclists who take the lane to keep themselves safe.

Hm, wonder if I should get a trailer, and train my kitty to be a good passenger...