So yours truly is typing this sentence in a wheelchair. Never fear, dear readers, I'll be back on two feet in six weeks or so. Pelvises take a while to mend. What happened? I've done got a case of "KAT scratch fever" on Friday.
I was riding my usual bicycle commute to downtown on Western Ave. The traffic was light and I was going fast down a hill. I hear rush of wind and look over my shoulder and a teal KAT bus was RIGHT THERE. Moving fast (over the speed limit) and filling the whole lane we were supposed to be sharing. To avoid getting hit I tried to move as far to the right as I could. With the roar of the engine right beside me I hit the curb, hit an awkward drainage vent, and jackknifed my front wheel. I went flying and hit the street hard, and broke my f'ing pelvis.
I feel fortunate that I didn't get hit. I'm an experienced cyclist and have ridden that route hundreds of times in all weather and traffic. All kind of cars have passed me, some cussing at me, but most doing the right thing. This bus driver, who ought to be one of the best drivers around, dangerously disregarded the rules of the road. Is this a trend?
Let's get this straight: bicycles are allowed on the road. They are legally considered vehicles. Cars (and busses) have to slow down to pass bicycles and give them a three foot buffer zone when they do. If a car can't pass safely, they have to remain behind the bicycle until they can. This is similar to how tractors on the road are treated in rural areas. If you have a problem with the current rules, contact your state representative have them try to change it. Until then, this is the law.
Those of you who drive out there, be careful around cyclists- especially Downtown. One feature of our recent urbanization is that there are are more people using bicycles to get around our town than ever before. So please watch out for us.
And for those of you who are bicycling out there to get to work, go to a show, or do your errands- don't let your guard down. Even places you bike everyday can suddenly become dangerous if one yahoo driver is added in the mix. Assume they're going to not see you. Get blinky lights for nighttime. Get a good helmet. And watch out for huge streaks of orange, teal, and silver.