Here, take this awareness test below. It’s simple…count the number of passes the team in white makes. So you don’t give the answer away (unless you want to cheat) don’t read any further until you’ve played the video and taken the test.
How’d you do?
Earlier this summer, when we had crummy weather in June, I had commuted to work in the morning and it was a decent day. By end of the day, the rain had moved in and I was riding home in the rain. While riding along on the side of the road, and about to pass the driveway of a business here in town, I saw a truck about to pull out, and had this strange feeling he wasn’t going to see me. As I got nearer to the entrance, he was looking the other way, and sure enough, just as I was crossing in front of his grill, he did a quick glance back to where I HAD been, and put the pedal down once he had seen no cars coming. I couldn’t look behind me to measure exactly, but I’m sure he missed my back tire by a foot at most. Moonwalking Bear.
Last night, after a nice date night ride downtown to the Beanery, we were headed home through some residential neighborhoods, and had mentioned already that even though we have the right of way when there’s no stop sign for us, people who DO have a stop sign, don’t always pay attention, or care. Sure enough, as we cruising by a church in N. Salem, headed back to Keizer a lady in a late model mustang pulled up to her stop sign, just as we were approaching the intersection. We slowed down to make sure she saw us….she looked the other way, then looked RIGHT AT US…so I was just about to say ‘ok, push through,’ when she looked the other way one more time, and then gunned it through the intersection. Once again, Moonwalking Bear(s).
I’m sure in both these instances, the drivers were so focussed on seeing if any CARS were coming, that they just didn’t pay attention to other vehicles, and/or pedestrians. Had we rode according to the rules of the road last night, even after slowing down, one or both of us would be mushed up a bit. As it was, I nearly went down because I hadn’t unclipped until she sped on through. I’m guessing this was probably what happened in a previous post of mine where a Salem cyclist was hit right behind my office. The report said the driver had run the stop sign, and the cyclist collided with her car. She likely slowed down, looked down the one way, saw no cars, and picked up the pace again through the sign. Another Moonwalking Bear…this one who got carted off in an ambulance.
Now I will flip the coin for a minute and point out that there are plenty of my biking comrades out there who are NOT obeying the rules of the road. Yesterday, not only did I see a gal on a bike, sans helmet (not a law, by the way…just saying) run a red on Liberty to turn onto State in front of me, and continued to sneak through lights for the next block or two, but I also saw a late evening group ride that blitzed through reds downtown. Doesn’t do us any good when we ask for drivers to be on the lookout for cyclists, if we’re not going to abide by the rules as well.
Not enough people will read this blog for it to make a difference, but to the handful of friends who do read, please remember there’s a chubby mexican out on his bike from time to time, and even though you might be in a hurry, I just ask that you keep and eye out for the Moonwalking Bear. Even at slow speeds, and even with my impressive body mass ration, I’m no match up against a rolling ton of metal. (Man those guys were great in the 70’s – Rolling Ton of Metal – but I digress….)
Hasta! (cue Billy Jean….for the Moonwalking Bear.)