The new route is not as direct. The quality of the pavement is not as good. There are more traffic lights to slow you down. But the new route does not involve a short trip on the Alameda and a left onto Sand Hill Rd. I have every right to be on that road, to go to work that way, there's even a SHARE THE ROAD sign and a bicycle silhouette but..
No matter how careful I am when I need to get over to those left-most lanes where I wait for the left hand arrow, no matter how many cars watch me signaling and slow down for me, no matter how carefully I plot that the light ahead be red so that no one feels rushed... no matter how careful I am... every few weeks someone steps on the gas instead of letting me cross in front of them and I come within range of being smeared into the cement, my clipped feet torn off at the pedal and my chest crushed.
I know how the newspaper article would read:
Bicyclist killed on Alameda de las Pulgas while crossing in front of an automobile.
I have a family I adore. I have a good life. I don't want to be killed by a mean-spirited woman with big hair. Yesterday I stopped fighting to play out in the yard with the rest of the people heading in to work. Yesterday I handed over my lunch money to the bully. I took the slow inconvenient route. The cars win this one.