Monday, July 31, 2006

Almost bought the farm today...

...because I was almost killed by an idiotic, impatient, selfish driver. I haven't commuted by bike in a while due to work and travel, injury, etc. I was really excited about getting back into my commute every day possible, and today was my first day back.

I was heading south on Audelia Road north of 635 (here's my commute). I stay off major roads as much as possible, but sometimes you have to use them to connect. As I approached a light, I was riding in the right hand lane, but I was riding about where a left car tire would go (one thing I've learned from resources like the DORBA Commuter Forum and commuting websites is "Own Your Lane," don't cower near the curb and invite people to share your lane). So I'm about 100 feet from an intersection with a light and suddenly, out of nowhere, this car passes me on the right, trying to get between me and the curb!!!! He was so close that his side view mirror hit my handlebars; it must have passed inches from my leg, elbow and side! Luckily it was a folding mirror and it actualy folded all the way back to the car door.

If he had driven a couple more inches to the left, or if the mirror had not been a fold away, I would be sprawled in the middle of the road, hopefully not run over by the other traffic.

What is wrong with people!!?? Why are they so impatient?? Why are they so inconsiderate?? Even hateful?? I'm going to continue to ride, dammit, because I like it and it's the right thing to do. But how long before someone is injured or even killed by an idiot (I know it happens every day somewhere!).

The ironic thing is that at the time of the incident I was thinking of a T-shirt idea that might keep people from honking at me. On the front, I would like the commie logo of the fist breaking a car (see above). On the back, in big letters, it will say, "Honk if you're helping the planet" or "Honk if you're reducing our dependence on foreign oil" or "Honk if you're fighting global warming." I think that should silence the honkers! (I posted this on the DORBA Commie Forum and now one of the members has spearheaded an effort to make these jerseys or something similar a reality!).

One thing I have to admit--the accident was partly my fault because I was daydreaming and lost my focus. I have a rear view mirror clipped to my helmet, so I should have seen this idiot coming and taken evasive action.

So ride safe out there and stay focused. Don't let 'em take you down!!