Saturday, February 6, 2010

Almost Doored, Almost Ignored (Commute #9, Part 1)

I came across a lot of bike commuters this Wednesday.

I left home in my car on the first half of my multi-modal bike commute. In a 2 to 3 mile stretch toward the freeway, I saw 3 people cycling uphill on Rancho Bernardo Road headed toward 4S Ranch, presumably destined for the offices nearby. I was quite encouraged to witness this as I was soon to be on my own bike.

I was perturbed to find that the park & ride lot was completely full. Fortunately I knew that there is an overflow park & ride lot roughly a quarter mile away, so I drove over posthaste and grabbed the closest open spot. The first parking lot is right on the corner of Black Mountain Road.  I usually wait for the pedestrian crosswalk signal (red arrow below) and then once I'm across the street I get into the bike lane and head down the road. Since I started off further back I had room to ride up to the front of the left turn lane queue of cars and waited for the traffic signal (blue arrow below).

Then I had a semi-almost close call with a car door just as I was getting going. Since this is near Miramar College, there's a lot of people parking along the street. I've been anticipating a car door flinging open toward me since I began riding here, so I ride the left side of the bike lane, but it still startled me.

Approaching the next intersection I could already see another cyclist waiting at the red light. I pulled up against the curb and offered a "How's it going?" He had earbuds in and didn't hear me or see me, yet. Crap. Should've waited until he noticed me. I fidgeted a bit and then he finally noticed me and shot a greeting. I reciprocated, waved, but felt a little dumb. He probably thinks he said hello first and now I look like the unfriendly jerk. The light turned green and the guy does a full-on sprint to get away. Geez, I guess he's in a hurry. I scrambled to give chase in an attempt to fine tune my slowness gauge (you know, how slow I am compared to all the cyclists I encounter), but he's created quite a gap, crosses another signaled intersection and I catch the red light. Oh, well.

I don't recall much else from the rest of the ride in to work. I made it in pretty good time: 25:22 "door to door", about 22:30 cycle time. The return ride after work I will recount in my next post: Bike Commute #9, Part 2.

1 comment:

  1. I wouldn't worry too much about greetings. :-) Some people do, some people don't. Some people say something before passing; most just cruise on by (I'm slower than pretty much everyone). LOTS of people are in a huge hurry. I try not to be.