Thursday, April 14

Four Hundred

On May 5, 2008, I began keeping a log of my bike commuting. Today, according to that log, I completed bicycle commute number 400. Some round numbers just pop up occasionally. The last time I drove to work, there was new ice and snow on the ground.

Y'all may recall that my previous post noted that driving a motor vehicle is quite a dangerous activity (I suspect there's some projection going on when they tell me CYCLING is dangerous), and that over 30,000 people a year in the US die doing so. I didn't mention that 1.2 million die each year worldwide. I cannot think of a single instance in which I EVER made 400 driving commutes without experiencing a single close call due to some dimbulb motorist doing something really dumb. Most frequently, they are things like close passes on a freeway at 70mph or running a red light.

In the case of bicycle commuting, at commute 400, I can't say I have ever experienced a close call with a motorist while commuting, and the last incident during other kinds of riding was back in 1973 in West Seattle. Since I started logging my commutes, and blogging about them, I've been harassed by civilian and police motorists, I've been in fear of lightning strikes, I've experienced a pulmonary embolism, and a number of falls, one of which was serious (due to construction). I can think of only one instance that MIGHT potentially have turned into a close call had circumstances been different. And THAT was due to a lapse in concentration on my part after getting drenched by a simulated tsunami wave while waiting at a stop sign. In the event, the oncoming motorist never got closer than about 50 feet and never noticed my SHOCK at seeing a car where a car should simply not be. That sort of thing would as easily have happened had I been driving the Land Rover. In the Land Rover, however, such an event would not be nearly so memorable after the more dramatic freeway cutoffs and assorted scofflawery.

January 2010, While Waiting at THIS Stop Sign, I Lost Concentration and "Forgot" About a Northbound Motorist
Fortunately, While I was Startled, the Motorist Never Noticed Anything Amiss Since I Was Fortunate

I Lost Concentration after Being DRENCHED by a Giant Wave of Water from a Southbound Motorist
It isn't ONLY Motorists that can get Distracted!


Big Oak said...

Happy 400th! That is a great accomplishment. You've had some dandy experiences on your commutes.

You've helped me to become a more aware bike commuter through your posts, especially around construction areas. I also ride more "vehicularly" than I used to thanks to you.

Rat Trap Press said...

Wow, 400! I have to agree with Big Oak, I'm much more assertive in my riding after reading your blog. Thanks.

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