The Chainlink

I will admit it. I am starting to get a bit bikeanoid.  Perhaps its this forum. Perhaps its the news media.  Perhaps its the seemingly increasing volume of stories about carnage on the road. Perhaps its because I have been leading one of the local Rides of Silence. Perhaps its me. Perhaps its the drivers. Perhaps they are out to get me...

...Following the discussion about a ghost bike today and then reading a story of yet another cyclist seriously injured finally got me.  How many of us have rationalized to ourselves, "I know what I am doing on my bike.  I don't know about THOSE riders but I'm safe."  It seems that more and more we read about exeprienced cyclists,  riders just like you and me, who are being hurt or worse on the roads.  

I have a gift certificate to REI. I plan to get  a vest, a bell, a new mirror.  I recently upgraded my light. I'm getting bikeanoid.   

I don't want to lose my edge.  We all need that confidence to ride urban roads.  We have to know what we are doing and be able to do what we know without hesitation  We can't flinch. We can't be scared. We can't be bikeanoid. 

I know I have been one of the annoying safety nerds on this board. Those posts came from somebody who thought he knew better.  Maybe it doesn't make a difference.  Maybe its just a lottery that we can't control.  Maybe all that safety crap will not do me any good. Maybe that truck is just waiting for me. Maybe I should forego the vest etc and get myself something more fun. Maybe I'm getting...bikeanoid. 

Ride safely friends...or @$#& it just cut right through, it might not matter.  :-)

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i know how you feel...

When Dottie Brackett gets hit by a car after stopping at a stop sign and yielding to two cars, I am not sure it is bikeanoid.  My philosophy is I could be hit by a bus crossing the street in the Loop.  I would rather be doing something I enjoy if I am going to be hit by something.

Dottie Brackett got hit by a car??? Nuck futs, if she's not safe, no one is.

A crash like Dottie's is never a good sign.  I'm with you about prefering to be doing something enjoyable if I'm going to get taken out.

Lisa Curcio said:

When Dottie Brackett gets hit by a car after stopping at a stop sign and yielding to two cars, I am not sure it is bikeanoid.  My philosophy is I could be hit by a bus crossing the street in the Loop.  I would rather be doing something I enjoy if I am going to be hit by something.

As Dottie pointed out at the outset of her LGRAB post, she is OK. 

Jennifer said:

Dottie Brackett got hit by a car??? Nuck futs, if she's not safe, no one is.

Light, mirror, bell, vest are not bikeanoid; just good sense.

Seconded. I've acquired all of these things in the last few months, after going without for many years, and I don't know why it took me so long.

in it to win it said:

Light, mirror, bell, vest are not bikeanoid; just good sense.

I now have them all as well.  I will break out the vest on Friday at the Amlings ride. That and a dose of bikeax and I am feeling a little better.
 
Allison Mackey said:

Seconded. I've acquired all of these things in the last few months, after going without for many years, and I don't know why it took me so long.

in it to win it said:

Light, mirror, bell, vest are not bikeanoid; just good sense.

That URL isn't working for me. I think it was supposed to be: http://letsgorideabike.com/blog/2012/12/hit-and-run/

That kind of must-go-around-all-obstacles kind of driving is not uncommon and gets me seething with rage despite all my decades of zen practice. If there was a hell there would be a special place in hell for people who drive like that.



Anne Alt said:

A crash like Dottie's is never a good sign.  I'm with you about prefering to be doing something enjoyable if I'm going to get taken out.

Lisa Curcio said:

When Dottie Brackett gets hit by a car after stopping at a stop sign and yielding to two cars, I am not sure it is bikeanoid.  My philosophy is I could be hit by a bus crossing the street in the Loop.  I would rather be doing something I enjoy if I am going to be hit by something.

I have started wearing the ridiculous Hi-Viz-Vest. I have 2 each front & rear lights, always looking to upgrade.

I may not look cool and I am okay with it. (If I die my child becomes an orphan, he has already lost one parent- I want to do everything I can to prevent another grim out come.)

There are many places (even some cities) where that must go around all obstacles kind of driving is uncommon. I've never driven anywhere where passing on the right at intersections is accepted like it is here.

Tony Adams said:

That URL isn't working for me. I think it was supposed to be: http://letsgorideabike.com/blog/2012/12/hit-and-run/

That kind of must-go-around-all-obstacles kind of driving is not uncommon and gets me seething with rage despite all my decades of zen practice. If there was a hell there would be a special place in hell for people who drive like that.

More often than not lately, I feel lucky I'm still alive when I get home and more often than not, that has very little to with the way I'm riding my bike. 

Here's a new one for me. I'm starting to feel increasingly freaked-out by drivers who are turning left when I'm going straight --especially if there's not a car that's to the left of me who's also going straight. (At least the left turner sees an oncoming car as an obstacle.) I've nearly been t-boned a few times in the last two weeks because the person turning left doesn't seem to see me as oncoming traffic. Look--I'm in no way hugging the gutter, I am moving fairly briskly on a green light, wearing a yellow reflective jacket and I have a blinking headlight. Apparently, I am supposed to treat this green light as a yield sign if someone turning left might, per chance, see the gap as their option to "gun" it. It's not just me who should be concerned, either. Pedestrians who are crossing and have a walk sign are also supposed to be prepared to yield to cars. (That's f'd up. When I learned to drive (at an off-brand driving school) it was stressed that your goal is to drive defensively and never, ever hit anything much less a person!)

I don't know if I'm more sensitive to what is going on, but I feel like the way people are driving around this city is out of control. Within the past week, two of my friends were hit by people driving cars. They were both obeying the law and doing things the way they're supposed to be doing them. 

I'm still enjoying riding, but I can't say that it's not getting a little stressy and tense because there are way to many people who will not and cannot seem to slow down for anything or anyone. 

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