Friday, April 29, 2011

I'm getting really burned out on confused past-their-prime nearsighted old ladies driving 4000 pounds of steel.

Today started out pleasantly enough.  Rapunzel climbed into the wagon with a stuffed mouse and I towed her to school.  Then the Contraption Captain and I turned around and headed to his place of employ.  In the last block before his workplace I turn the bike wagon over to his recumbent for him to keep at work and we make kissy-faces at each other and then I head off towards my own place of employment.

The first traffic light is Lytton.  There's been construction going on at this corner for...ummm...about forever.  It used to be on the left side of the street, now it's on the right side of the street.  Cause we've always been at war with Oceania.

I'm very friendly with the construction worker guy who directs the traffic at this corner.  Screw you.  Not friendly like that.  We're both pleasant middle-aged types who fear cars and trucks.  He's shown me pictures of his two Chihuahuas and I've sympathized regarding his Blackberry phone issues.

I'll let you in on a secret.  Construction workers dig bicyclists and it's not because of our fashionable attire or cute asses.  Sure they know we aren't very manly (or womanly) and we aren't very All-American but we do have this one thing going in our favor:  No bicyclist has ever run over and killed a construction worker.  Seriously.  Google it for yourself.  A construction worker who sees a bicyclist toddling up breathes a sigh of relief and whips out the pictures of the Chihuahuas.  He knows he is not about to die.

Road worker deaths by bicycle = 0
Road worker deaths by cars = lots and lots

Today when I get to the intersection the traffic light at Lytton is red.  So I wait (yes really) and as I wait a car pulls up behind me.  Then the light turns green.  I wait a moment longer confirm no car will hurt me and  I start through the intersection.  Car behind me waits a reasonable moment or two himself and then starts through the intersection after me.  We are both in the intersection when homicidal old lady behind the wheel approaches her red light from the other direction, never sees a reason to stop or yield or warn us with a hit to her horn and and continues straight on through.  I scream like a mountain lion with it's paw in a leg hold track.  Judging by the stricken look on the face of the driver behind me his response had been to pee all over the seat.

Homicidal lady's mouth curves into a moue of surprise.  "Who are these people and why are they in my intersection?" her face seems to say.  She doesn't stop.  Car behind me slams on the brakes and I slam forward on the pedals and Homicidal crosses the intersection, against the light, between us.

So I'm still alive and very very chafed and able to complain another day.

I have decided to start riding exclusively on the sidewalk going forward.  Not because I'm afraid of cars but because I want the opportunity to run over little old ladies.

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