Bike Snob NYC wrote one of his best posts yesterday about the fine line cyclists ride between safety and death. No matter whether you ride like an idiot or by taking every safety precaution you can, the fact is that some random events can still lead quickly to your demise.
Last weekend, I was mountain biking and a blunder on my part led to me flying over my handlebars and coming to a stop on my face. I cracked my helmet in multiple places and found myself quite bloody. I got off pretty easily. My girlfriend, who watched the crash, was horrified by what she saw. For some reason, I was more upset about the mistake I made.
Today, I was riding home from work, in the rain, down Mass Ave. After going through the green light at Porter Square, I made my way along the bike lane, towards the next intersection. The cars were stopped in a long line, waiting to move through the next light, when I came up beside a big black pickup truck. I didn't see that the truck had left a gap for a car to turn left into a side street, until I was almost in the path of the turning car. I slammed on my brakes, the woman in the car slammed on her's, and when we came to a stop, we both looked at each other and shared a relieved sigh.
Guess which one was scarier? The crash or the near crash? I wasn't doing anything wrong today. She wasn't really doing anything wrong either. But I almost ended up mangled.
And yet, I see people riding fixies with no helmet, speeding through red lights into busy intersections and expecting cars to stop for them on a regular basis. So, I can understand why drivers hate cyclists.
Be safe folks. Watch for cyclists; even the dumb ones. And for the cyclists, keep the rubber side down.