Monday, July 21, 2008

It's also the price of liberty

My cycling commuting experiences have taught me that paying attention to everything is a must. Although I've avoided many close calls over the years, mostly due to driver inattention or ignorance, I can still get caught off guard. This morning on the way to work I pulled up to the four-way stop at Standard and Cozza. To my right, a classic black VW Beetle is approaching and the driver is using his hand to shield his eyes from the rising sun. I wait to make sure he's going to stop. When he stopped he flipped his visor down and I am encouraged. I start off...slowly...keeping an eye on him because he still hasn't looked yet. Sure enough without a glance in any direction he hits the gas. I slow to a near track stop and he has plenty of room to cross in front of me but noooooooooo, that 's not good enough. He's turning left--where's the turn signal!--and he's headed straight for me. I'm ripping my shoes out of the pedals figuring I have just enough time to dive out of the way once my feet hit the ground when he sees me and slams on the brakes. I'm three feet away from his bumper and he has a look of surprise and horror on his face. I read his lips as he apologizes. "I'm sorry". So although I anticipated him not seeing me, he almost ambushed me with that unsignaled turn. Lesson learned. Nobody hurt. And hopefully his guilt will make him a better driver. Eternal vigilance fellow cyclers. Eternal vigilance.

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