A day in the life of a bike commuter, looking at cars that take over the bike/bus only lanes. I'm an advocate of the "Share the Road" program and would like to see police enforcement of the cars illegally driving in the bike/bus lanes.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Wednesday 7/19

Ok, if I were really cheezy, I'd say that today I got the "money" shot. But let's just leave it as "really good." Good in the sense that I finally was able to capture the cars passing me on the right-hand side of the bike lane. I have become accustomed to this phenomena and now know when and where to expect it. So this morning, I may have been a little late to work, but I was still on top of things. I had my camera out before I got to the "danger zone" and snapped these, while riding:

Neither of these cars turned right at the light. I tried to catch up and get another picture of them, but they were going much too fast for me. This is particularly dangerous because at the intersection that they flew through after pasing me, there are a lot of potholes. Sometimes I have to make quick, jerky movements to avoid the potholes. I have a road bike, not a mountain bike. If a car were flying by, passing on the right, where I'm not expecting it, it could easily kill me. That's not cool.


Anonymous Rob said...

Thanks for doing this. I see bad driver behavior pretty frequently on my route, which has a bike lane only once you get to Capitol Hill. For the rest of the ride, I have to choose between personal safety and where I think bikes should be permitted to ride without incident. Unfortunately, I also see a lot of bad biker behavior, which almost always consists of not stopping at lights or stop signs. Everyone would be safer if all bikers and drivers obeyed the traffic laws.

Wednesday, 19 July, 2006

Blogger Lindsay said...

It's true. Sometimes as self-righteous bikers, we decide that stop signs are optional and red lights mean "caution." And we put ourselves at risk. but besides the safety issue, it bothers me because it slows down mass transit. the bus lane is created to make the bus system flow better than traffic and make it a more attractive option for commuters. the desired result being to get more cars off the road. In the end, we're doing them all a favor by biking or taking a bus. A favor in the form of reduced congestion, reduced pollution, and better health--which makes us nicer to be around and more attractive ;)

Wednesday, 19 July, 2006

Blogger lee.watkins said...

If you have to avoid potholes then you don't have the right equipment for the place you are riding in. First of all, you ride regularly in DC, which has terrible bumps & holes everywhere, yet you don't have a sprung saddle - doesn't make any sense! Stop wasting your time and get yourself a Brooks Flyer / Champion saddle. http://www.wallbike.com/brooks/singlerailsprungsaddles.html These type saddles are considered standard issue anywhere where the majority of people commute by bike, or at least a lot do, internationally. Think you know better? First, try the tried and true choice. Do this, and you will end up wondering why you waited so long to get one.

Second - the wheels. You are riding a road bike on city streets, what you need are propperly hand-built wheels with 32 stainless steel spokes, brass nipples, and rims that will accept 32mm tires at a minimum, 37mm would be be sensible, but if it's a newer road frame, you might not have the clearance (the ones from the 70's will fit that prob.)

Hand built wheels are much stronger than machine built, and will handle the potholes with 32 spokes just fine.

Lastly, if you are like most road bike riders, your handlebars are way too low, due to various historical idiotic decisions on the part of mass manufacurers which have now been largely forgotten. For a correct fit, the bottoms of your drop bars should be level with the top of your saddle, or slightly higher.
The stem of choice for correct handlebar position is the Nitto Technomic.

Friday, 20 April, 2007


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