|Speed Can be Your FRIEND - From Wikipedia|
However, THIS Guy Needs No Help for Others to Know His Speed
|How Close Can a Car Get Before Reacting and Still Not Run You Down?|
Remember, They Could Get MUCH Closer and Still Miss You With a Simple Lane Change
Why, then, you might ask, did I choose the title I did for this post? Well, it is very simple. As in most road conflict, THE MAIN DANGER IS AHEAD. What this means is that overtaking motorists make their moves early to pass the poky cyclist. Those making turns and such up ahead often misjudge how quickly I am coming on. And those, up ahead, represent the MAIN DANGER.
Of course, riding even faster compared to what a motorist expects usually only makes things worse. Really, the only real benefit of cycling in a vehicular manner is that the increased dangers when you are going fast are much less than behaving in a manner that other traffic does not expect. In other words, the penalties of riding fast are less if you move as others expect a vehicle to move. That is a lot of the secret to low Dutch and Danish cycling fatalities - people simply mostly ride slower compared to the US. If you doubt it, ride at 20mph on a street with traffic versus try to ride at 20mph against traffic on a crowded sidewalk. Actually, simply take my word for it. I don't want to be hauled into court by some grieving survivor.
Sometimes, however, speed doesn't kill, but helps. I was reminded of this on Thursday when I got honked at by a motorist. Getting honked at is pretty unusual in itself for me, but this one might have been even stranger. What is more, speed might well have avoided the encounter completely. Actually, I'm being slightly misleading because it wasn't really speed that was needed as much as an "impression" of speed. A motorist up ahead that OVERESTIMATES my speed gives me an extra margin. During daylight, this is a tough thing to achieve. BUT, sometimes, the darkness can be a cyclist's friend.
|I was Headed Southwest in the Dark, Down the Hill, Toward the Camera, About Where the Driver of the Silver Car Was|
On Thursday, Perhaps a Sign Saying "Caution - Motorists Blowing Stop Signs"
Would Have Been Most Appropriate
|Light Level on Thursday - Motorist Blows Stop Sign and Honks|
|Light Level on Friday - Another Boring Ride - Sidestreet Motorists Behaved Themselves|
|Bike Light at Left, Wimpy VW High Beams at Right. Those Lights at Left are COMING FAST!|
|Is that Marlon Brando on a Harley in the Dark?|
Those Durn, Sneaky (Inappropriate Term Deleted) Cyclists!
|Motorists Would be RELUCTANT to Blow a Stop Sign With One of THESE Bearing Down!|
I Think I'd Need Speakers Because These Bad Boys Don't Use Lights When They Come...