The Chainlink

So, the other day I was a pedestrian due to circumstances beyond my control.  I was walking on a part of 91st Street, wast of Western, where there is no sidewalk.  I listened for cars coming from behind, and rather than looking over my shoulder, I found myself constantly looking just to the left of my left wrist. 

Because that's where, when biking, my rear-view mirror would be.  I do the same thing when riding a borrowed bike that lacks such a mirror.  It occurs to me that this is a way that my brain has been re-wired by my 4,000 miles per year of cycling: I ride enough that when I want to see behind me, I do not look behind me, I look at where my mirror is, or should be.

Anyone else have such stories?

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Yeah.  While walking in the loop, I find myself looking back for overtaking traffic before moving to the left to walk around another pedestrian.  I must spend too much time on the bike paths.

When I do drive, I'm a better driver in one very specific way: I check the walk signs to see if I can make the light now--that never occurred to me before I rode my bike in the city every day. Really cuts down on those traffic cam tickets :)

I wear a lot less winter outerwear now even when not biking. I don't even own a winter coat any more - I just add more layers. I'm not sure if that counts as brain re-wiring.

I was in a car at a stoplight this summer during my once-per-month drive when the light turned green; I tried pedaling. Luckily, I always start pedaling my bike with my left foot (car's brake), rather than the right (car's gas).

wow.  good thing it's not a standard transmission car!

Gene Tenner said:

I was in a car at a stoplight this summer during my once-per-month drive when the light turned green; I tried pedaling. Luckily, I always start pedaling my bike with my left foot (car's brake), rather than the right (car's gas).

I was in Target pushing my cart and signaled before pushing it left into an aisle....

no joke :(

I sometimes say "On your left" when walking through crowded stores too.

Katie said:

I was in Target pushing my cart and signaled before pushing it left into an aisle....

no joke :(

After coming home from the 1998 Aids Ride in a year I had done a ton or riding I was driving some friends south on Ridge Ave.  just south of Pratt to go hear some music. I was in a constant state of awareness of what was ahead, behind and aside of me.  A set of headlights suddently appeared on my side of the street coming right at me. I did not hesitate and maneuvered sharply to my left to avoid the nutcase that was on the wrong side of the street. I avoided hitting anybody and returned to my lane with no damage other than that done to my passenegers' shorts.  I don't think I would have made that move if I had not ridden over a thousand miles in the previous couple months.

When walking the three blocks to the grocery store this weekend, it seemed like I was traveling in slow motion and the trip seemed to take a very long time.

The transition from biking around to walking can be disorienting.  I often jump when I hear the click of a nearby car door opening.  Or on my way into a store, I intuitively stop at the nearest bike rack first.  Who hasn't tried to unlock an apartment or car with a bike lock key?  And don't get me started on snot rockets that fail to fly due to lack of speed.  There is probably a funny video lurking in here... functioning through your bicycle day, only without the bike. 

Ah, nothing says "bike chic" like snot rockets!

'snot so elegant, eh?  ;0

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