Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Risk Worth Taking

Temperature at departure = 40° F (4° C)

Mist and light fog with visibility of 2.5 miles. I mention this because of an exchange I had with the driver of a big ol' Cadillac towards the end of my ride in the twisting roads running through Corporate Woods. The time was about 8:20 a.m. and I'm on the main road with the right of way when the Cadillac was pulling out of a parking lot. I can see him plainly through the small trees that line the road so I'm fully expecting him to NOT see me. I slowed down as he pulled into the intersection in front of me and stopped, rolled down his window and said "Why don't you have your lights on?" Well, it was one of those times when you really don't need lights -- but on the other hand he had a point; but so did I as I replied "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery." He looked down at his dash, chuckled, turned his lights on and gave me a wave as he drove off. To be honest, I normally wouldn't have said anything but this guy looked like a really nice guy and he made his comment with more of a nice, concerned tone rather than an "I own the road" tone. I smiled when I replied, which probably helped my case. So, we both drove/rode off with our lights on and without any real road rage. Bonus.

Okay, I don't know why I like graphs as much as I do -- but here was one I came across from the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition that explains why women don't like to bicycle. I'd be interested to see the data for men; my guess is it would be similar.



Paul Dorn said...

While it's true that most of these concerns are also shared by male cyclists, women do face additional security concerns. I tried to respond to some of those on my bike commuting tips website. I think the perceived threat from cars is exxagerated. Much has been done in San Francisco to improve safety, thanks to the efforts of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition. However, as long as the media overstates the safety of driving, prospective bicycle commuters will need to overcome perceptions. Those of us already bicycling can provide valuable examples, mentors, models.

Warren T said...

Excellent information on your site. Thanks Paul.