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Aging on my terms - Daily musings in 500 words or so

Attention Seeker – my daily commute

I’m one of the lucky ones. I get to live in a city that not only has bike lanes, but also the weather that inspires year round bike commuting. So I ride my bike.  I haven’t driven my car in months. Looking at the bank account, the last time I put gas in my car was August 21, 2017 and it was only $11.85.

It used to take me 30 minutes to get up to the gym, but I can do it in 15 now. My bike is fast! I’m getting good at banking the corners too, even with those skinny tires I have. At first I was too afraid to try it, but then one day I sailed around a corner and naturally leaned into it, and I was hooked.

Another side effect of commuting via bicycle is, I have to stay sharp. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but the bike lanes are full of road debris; like broken taillights, broken bottles, garbage, road kill, downed tree limbs and palm fronds.  And all of the gravel that makes its way from the roads.

Then there’s the delivery guy who has his big truck parked in the bike lane, because it’s convenient for him. I have to make a quick decision about which side to swerve around is the safest for me to navigate.

One time I had to dodge a lady coming straight at me (in the bike lane) on her mobility scooter. She wasn’t going to budge either and I knew I wouldn’t win in that Game of Chicken.

I've seen these scooters in the bike lane

I’ve got to be ever vigilant of the parked cars on the right side of the lane too. I never know if someone is about to swing open a door or pull out, never taking a second to look to see if I’m in the bike lane.

Those skinny tires that help me to go fast are also the same ones I have to traverse over rough terrain. Potholes and broken pavement can bring that bike down quicker than you could say, “watch out!”

This morning I had to pull into the auto lane because a girl was walking in the bike lane. Even though there was a sidewalk on both sides of the street. For some reason, she wanted to walk in the bike lane, so I had to skirt around her. And you wouldn’t believe how many times I’ve encountered a scooter riding the bike lanes. Too funny.

But my favorite is keeping a watchful eye on the cars behind me and beside me. I hope that driver coming up behind me riding the white line isn’t on their phone! For some reason they seem to all be in a hurry too, because it’s inevitable that a car races around in front of me, only to be turning right…in front of me.

I don’t know if you’ve seen me but I’m the one with the neon bright backpack that has the heavy Kryptonite lock in it. I can see you because I have a rear-view mirror. And I do my best to let you know I’m there. I have flashing lights on my bike, a helmet with headlights, taillights, brake lights and even turn signals.

I have to carry a heavy bike lock to keep my bike safe while I'm in a store, or the gym

The best lock to keep my bike safe

I use a neon backpack for high visibility during my bike commute

High visibility is key!

I’m trying; I really am, to get you to pay attention to me. Maybe next time you’re on the road, take a look around, see if you notice me us.

 

biking to the gym

Hi, it’s me!

3 Comments

  1. I love bike riding but have a confession. I don’t have a fancy bike. I have a one-speed, and I love it! We don’t have any hills here and it’s perfect for street biking. But my husband plans on buying me a better bike for riding off road, as soon as I heal up from my elbow surgery. I wish I could post a pic of my bike because she’s a cutie. She’s a vintage-style Huffy, seafoam green and brown colors. I have another confession. I have a real phobia of riding on the bike lanes and prefer to ride on the sidewalks, even at the risk of getting a ticket. With all the drivers on their cell phones, I’m too untrusting to do it. Of all the times we’ve ridden our bikes on the sidewalks, we’ve never encountered any pedestrians. If we did, we would definitely stop and given them the right of way. Cheers, Loretta!

    • Loretta Sayers
      Loretta Sayers

      2017-11-15 at 08:05

      I totally get it Trisha. I used to have just a beach cruiser with a basket. Then I bought a man’s bike that was a little sturdier, but I never really liked it. The bike I have now…was my son’s. He used it in a few triathlons! When he decided to upgrade to a better bike, I was gifted his old one. I was nervous at first about it because I was never really that comfortable on a bike. But now I love it!

      And I know exactly what you mean about riding on the bike lanes. It really can be frightening!! Our sidewalks are too crowded, generally, for me to ride on them. So I just do it!

      Keep riding my friend!

  2. So many things to look out for.

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