Peeling back a corner of the universe to glimpse the utter chaos that lies behind.
Jun 3, 2010
A Little Too Close but Still Pretty Good
I came a little too close to getting hit by a car this morning. The sobering thing was that it was pretty much my fault this time (although there were contributing factors as I shall explain).
Chicago Ave. can be busy, but typically when I have to cross it in the morning, it's pretty sedate. Today was no exception - only one car heading south as I approached the intersection from the east today. Assuming the car was going straight because there was no turn signal, I looked left and rolled the stop sign because it was all-clear to the south and I would preserve some momentum while allowing the south-bound car to pass through the intersection before I got to the middle of the street. Unfortunately, the car didn't go straight as I assumed - it made an unsignaled turn left off of Chicago on to 45th, cutting the corner as I rolled into the intersection and coming within a few feet of my handlebars.
Yikes! Stupid, I know. What get's me is that every other time this sort of thing has happened to me it was entirely the drivers fault - they pulled into the bike lane without looking, or ran a stop sign or something like that. Yes, I got suckered by the lack of a turn signal, but I wasn't being defensive enough and it almost taught me a tough lesson.
What lowered my guard and lulled me into a false sense of serenity? I guess it was the unbelievably nice morning. Cool, clear and sunny with no wind and litlle traffic. I was grooving on the ride and not being paranoid about everyone else on the road. Fortunately, the rest of the ride in was awesome. The cherry on top was getting a "Bike Love" shout from gMach just before I rolled into the IDS ramp.
On a semi-related note, I up-graded my beat up old "Livestrong" helmet today to a Bell Volt. Spendy, but very nice. My last Do Cycle coupon took some of the sting out of the cost, too. The Volt is much better ventilated than my old helmet, and it's got a visor because I am done trying to look cool on my bike. The photo at the top is from the Sabo bridge on the way home tonight with the new helmet. It's a nice bridge, but I never ride on it because it's off my typical routes. I hit it tonight just to get my money's worth.