I had planned on doing a 60 mile trip today, but gave up on the idea when I realized that merely wearing my bike clothes wasn't doing any good if I was just going to wear them on the couch. I was feeling out of sorts anyway. My days off were shifted around, and I have a super early training class tomorrow for work. So I decided to make today another Errands-by-Bike day.
I set off around the evening rush hour, but I was going in the opposite direction of most folks. I only needed to go about 10 blocks, but in that 10 blocks I managed to witness the most obnoxious bike behavior ever.
-I understand the light timing on the 15th St cycle track is terrible. I've often pulled an Idaho stop with them myself (IMO, bike infrastructure should also be convenient, not just safe. Stopping & waiting at every single intersection is not convenient.) However, rush hour IS NOT THE TIME FOR IT. It is saner & safer to simply wait. In case you didn't realize (and this goes for peds & drivers too): you will not get to where you are going any faster by disregarding traffic laws. Really. You won't. You are only increasing your chances of getting hurt or hurting others.
-See those painted white lines at every intersection (and sometimes between them)? Those are called CROSSWALKS. They are for PEDESTRIANS. They are not a spot to creep your bike in while you try to play frogger with cross traffic because you can't wait 45 seconds for the light to change. Pedestrians shouldn't have to dodge or walk around you.
-Speaking of pedestrians: you need to yield the right of way, especially if you are blowing a light. That doesn't mean weaving around between them. That doesn't mean crossing within inches of them. That means stopping (put your damn foot down) and waiting.
-it also means LOOKING for them. Just as many drivers suffer from "bike blindness", don't develop "pedestrian blindness". (it can go the other way too. Today, a jaywalking pedestrian was looking right at me as he was about to step in my path, but it was clear he didn't SEE me. He was looking right through me, looking for cars). Don't get tunnel vision. Make sure you are actually SEEING your surroundings. Other cyclists, pedestrians, dogs, children...don't look through them just to watch out for cars.
-Pass on the left. Pass on the left. PASS ON THE LEFT.
-If you are going to pass, make sure it's safe. Attempting to pass when there is oncoming traffic is unsafe & obnoxious.
-signal your intentions. Sudden turns without warning can be dangerous...
-and that brings me to this: do NOT pass someone at an intersection!! If the cyclist you are trying to pass decides to turn left, you will collide.
That's enough ranting for today.
I rode to a local bike shop was slightly annoyed by the sparse bike parking. Yet their front patio had ample room for a few racks. Instead they had a bench. I don't know about you, but when I go to a bike shop, its usually not to sit in the front of it.
Nice bench. I'll just put my bike on it.
It was odd because the building next door to the shop actually had quite a few bike racks in their front patio. Oh well.
My reason for stopping by the shop was to pick up some nutrition products to try on the bike. I'm terrible at properly hydrating & fueling on long rides. I tend to ride myself in the ground before I drink or eat, and by then I've lost my appetite and can't keep anything down. I need to practice and find what works for me before the 3-day ride in May.
These are a few of the products I picked up.
Do you guys have any hints or tips? What's your typical nutrition routine on long rides (4+ hours)?
After the bike shop, I stopped at Whole Foods to pick up dinner from the hot bar. I always forget what a zoo that place is. Then I rode home. The end.
Cookies consumed on the ride: 2