Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Picture this.  You're driving down a road with at least two straight lanes and a right turn lane.  You are in the rightmost straight lane, and you realize that there is a bicyclist in front of you.  Other than the bicyclist, you are the only other soul on the road at the time.  Assuming you make a complete lane change in order to pass the cyclist instead of buzzing him or her, what do you do?

A.  Move into the leftmost straight lane, pass the cyclist, and then move back into the original lane when safe.
B.  Move into the right turn lane, pass the cyclist, and then cut back over into the original lane at the last minute to avoid turning right, nearly clipping the cyclist on the way.

Most reasonable people would probably choose option A, but there are a few motorists, though surprisingly more than expected, who routinely choose option B.  It really makes no sense, since the purpose of the second straight lane is to allow safe passing, and that lane in this case is completely empty.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

By Tuesday night, I will have ridden 1001 miles so far this year. :-)

On the way home yesterday, I was approaching a left turn from a 2-lane road.  I was riding just inside the centerline as I prepared to turn.  A car, which had previously honked at me because I was in the way, pulled up beside me on the right.  He slowed down (so he was obviously not in a hurry and thus not inconvenienced by my presence), rolled down his window (in 36-degree conditions), and informed me that I was supposed to ride "off to the right side of the road."  I prepared to make a snappy, sarcastic remark about how he wasn't supposed to pass on the right, but instead surprised myself by calming saying, "Yeah, except I'm turning left up here.  Thanks, though," with only the slightest hint of sarcasm in my thank-you.

While he didn't cause a problem and the road was plenty wide enough for his illegal pass, this brings to light one of my pet peeves: if he hadn't been so busy worrying about where I was riding, legally, he could have been more focused on where he was driving, illegally.  If all of us as drivers would stop worrying so much about what other people are doing (I'm guilty of muttering about stop sign runners quite often myself), perhaps we could improve our own driving and make the roadways safer for everyone.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Columbus has the worst taxi drivers ever.  Yesterday I was riding on High through the Short North and a taxi starts trying to make a left turn from the oncoming lane, directly into me.  I slow down and give him the one-handed "what are you doing" shrug, while simultaneously yelling at him so that he doesn't keep moving toward me.  He gesticulates wildly and yells something inside the car.  Then, as I ride off down the street, he stops in the driveway into which he just turned, rolls his window down, and yells at me!  I was amazed.  Did you really just get mad at me because I wouldn't stop dead in my tracks to let you turn when you had no right to do so?  Columbus has the worst taxi drivers ever.

Monday, February 13, 2012

I came to an all-way stop sign in Upper Arlington today on my way home and waited for the next cross-traffic vehicle to go, since he arrived first.  When he did not move after several seconds, I proceeded through the intersection.  As I neared the cross street (the stop sign was set back a few feet), the cross vehicle suddenly accelerated, nearly hitting me.  Luckily I heard his engine and stopped short.  I sincerely hope he was texting and suddenly decided to go without looking, because the alternative is that he intentionally waited for me to enter the intersection in order to scare or even hit me.  Really, though, either option is scary.

Then, between Hague and Wilson on Trabue, a car honked at me because I had taken the lane since there was oncoming traffic and not enough room for a car to pass me within my lane.  This is not an unusual occurrence, so I ignored the car and kept moving, doing what I knew was not only my legal right, but also the best option for sharing the road safely.  Then, because he was more important than both me and the oncoming car, this driver passed me while I was still in the center of his lane.  This, of course, meant that half of his car was in the oncoming lane, forcing the oncoming car to swerve, and the other half of his car was inches from me.  I called the Franklin County Sheriff's radio room, since this incident occurred in Franklin Township and not Columbus, and reported the dark blue or dark purple 4-door sedan-style car with license plate FIV 9366.   Unfortunately, the speed limit on Trabue is 45, so he was probably gone before I even hung up the phone, let alone by the time officers started searching for him.  Nevertheless, it's in the records in case he ever tries something similar.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

On the way home yesterday, the right lane ended and someone didn't want to be behind me in the left lane, so he decided to stay in the right lane until the last minute and cut me off as he merged.  Because the alternative was to shred my brakes or to become a part of his vehicle, I ended up in the center left turn lane next to him.  While I was there, I fixed him with my best glare.  Then I noticed he was on his cell phone.  All of a sudden, his erratic lane change made sense.  After all, everyone knows that laws and common sense don't apply if you are on a very important phone call...

So I'm next to him, glaring at him as hard as I can, and sees me.  While continuing to hold the phone to his ear, he opens the door without so much as even slowing down, leans out since he isn't wearing a seat belt, and asks me what the f*ck I want.  I honestly don't know what he was using to hold the wheel or to hold himself in the car with one hand on the door and one on the phone.  I then informed him that he had cut me off and dropped back behind him.  I'm amazed at his talent/stupidity/total disregard for his or anyone else's safety.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Bikes can be walked around blocked roads; cars can't. Bikes-1, cars-0.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Some (extremely intelligent, I'm sure) motorist yelled out "Are you serious?" as he passed me today, of course not giving me a chance to answer:

Why, yes, I am serious.  I'm serious about burning off the cookies I ate at work today, staying healthy, and saving money by not buying gas.  The real question here, though, is are you serious?  Are you seriously yelling at me as you slide into the next lane to pass me, slide back into my lane (without a turn signal either time), speed, and turn your head to yell at me instead of looking ahead of you?  Seriously scary is about as close to serious as you'll get with that kind of driving.
According to the calculator on, I save $2434 a year on fuel by biking to work daily and travel a total of 4160 miles.  And that doesn't even include trips I take outside of work!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Does anyone know what the prize is for the getting to red lights before any other traffic?  It must be pretty nice to be worth risking my life, let alone the life of the driver doing the risking.  Whether it involves cutting me off and slamming on the brakes or accelerating as soon as I move into the right-turn-only lane when you will clearly have to stop at a red light before you can turn left or go straight, it just doesn't make any sense to me.  Maybe they like paying for the extra gas they waste accelerating for no reason?  Who knows.