My bike is as fast as a slow car
0 comment Wednesday, May 14, 2014 |
I ride 12th Avenue between Humboldt and Sherman pretty much twice a day, five days a week, sometimes more. Because I ride pretty close to the speed of a slow car drives (I figure), I stay in the traffic lane. I pull up behind cars at red lights, and when it turns green, I crank as hard as I have to to keep up with everyone. Twelfth has so many lights, it's usually not a problem, and it's like doing 5 or 6 mini-sprints twice a day.
This morning, I was sitting at the light at Washington Street, waiting for it to turn green, no cars in front of me. When you're the first person in line at a light, drivers see all that open space in front of you, and they get anxious to pass you. I could hear a car behind me. Whenever I'm in this situation, I have the immature, ridiculous and kind of pathetic urge to show cars I can ride my bike as fast as they can drive their car (I can't, but if we all obeyed the speed limit, I could).
So the light turns green, and I hammer on it. After a couple pedal strokes, I jump three rings, my top gear. It's a full two blocks before the car makes a move to pass. I am like the wind, no, lady? Black Honda Accord, Kansas license plates. Whoa, there's a mountain bike coming in the other lane, at her, so she quickly ducks back into my lane (without cutting me off, yeah!) but overcorrects and almost swipes into the line of parallel-parked cars on the right side of 12th. Fortunately, she misses them and safely makes a turn onto Logan.
Here's a thought: How fast would I have to be going in order for a car to not try to pass me on 12th? You rarely see cars passing other cars, or even scooters, even though everyone's probably driving somewhere between 20-30 mph, regardless of mode of transportation. Maybe I just need to modify my bike so it looks like it has an engine on it.
Or maybe I just have some growing up to do.