Tuesday, April 19, 2011

morality play

Most bicyclists who ride a lot will witness a car accident.  Or two.  Or three.  Or more than they can easily count.  I've seen a few and it's always exciting.  There was the time I was waiting at a red light (yes, really) and I heard this terrible shrieking noise.  As I watched a car hurtled through the intersection and hung a hard right.  The car bounced up onto the traffic island and then went right over a small tree (that was completely demolished) before disappearing from view.  Then there was a loud crash.  I waited for the light to turn green (yes, really) and followed along (as that's how I get home) and I could see the big black marks the tires had left on the road.  Also there was a disgusting smell: burned rubber.  A little further up the road the car was squished up against a larger tree (it hadn't yielded the way the smaller tree had) and there were a group of people standing around.  No people were injured but both trees died from their injuries.  Later I would remember the effortless way the car had gone over the tree and realize that it would look pretty similar to see a car go over a bicycle.


The other interesting accident peripherally involved me.  I was approaching the intersection of Charleston and San Antonio.  The light was red red red.  There was a car waiting at the red light, a car that happened to be a shiny new Mustang.  I like horses so I notice things like this.  Since the light was red, I was not in a huge hurry to get to the intersection but I was still making a good faith attempt to reach the light in a timely manner despite my riding my giant heavy cargo bike at the time.  I am about to fall in behind the waiting car when a second car goes past me on the left and then cuts in front of me. 

Now new car is 2nd in line to go through the light and I am third in line.  Whatever.  Impatient guy is impatient.  Film at 11.

So it's a long light and a little boring and this gives me time to notice the drama being enacted in the car in front of me.  The guy is gesturing quite eloquently with his hands.  He points.  He directs.  He waves his hands around.  At first I think he is on his cell phone but he's giving meaningful glances into his rear view mirror.  I try and figure out what he wants to communicate a la Charades.  Sounds like...mane....Lane?  I should be in a bike lane?  Yeah I agree with that idea, I do.  Unfortunately there isn't one here.  Oh.  Clock.  Walk.  Sidewalk.  I should be on the sidewalk?  No.  No that would be a mistake.  But thanks.

The light turns green.  Car guy doesn't notice.  Now I'm a little stuck and a little frustrated. 

NOW car guy notices the green light.  He steps on the gas and rear-ends the shiny red Mustang. 


I slow down to see if they want a witness but they wave me away.

Moral:  Fix your own driving first.

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