Wednesday, July 21, 2010

My helmet did its job today

On essentially straight, level road, in full sunshine and dry weather, I was tooling along at 22-ish miles per hour on Route 28 about a mile before the intersection with Trotting Track Road. Suddenly something whacked my helmet. A gray pickup truck was passing.

My first thought was that some nitwit finally had the arm and the aim actually to hit me with a bottle. Then I saw the big curl of flexible PVC piping that had popped out of the truck bed and was now sweeping through the air above the right side of the lane and the shoulder. That had hit me in the back of the head as the truck drove by.

The license plate was a tiny speck as I tried to get the driver's attention. He was either oblivious or too pleased with himself to want to stop. He turned at Trotting Track Road. There's no chance he will be ticketed and fined for his improperly secured load.

The nitwits are out in force today. Further in Center Street, two huge tractor trailers snorted past. Right behind them, I pulled out to the left tire track to cover the lane because it was positively not safe for another motor vehicle to pass. Some idiot in a Volvo wagon pulled all the way into the left lane on a blind curve without slowing down. She popped around the curve grille to grille with a white Crown Vic. Unfortunately it was not a cop. We were also rolling down into a construction area. The cars did not collide. No doubt everyone cursed the road-obstructing cyclist as they sped on into Wolfeboro's summer congestion.


Anonymous said...

Scary. Glad you are OK.

cafiend said...

Scary indeed. But I called the local access cable TV station a few minutes ago and pitched a show about bike and car safety. That's now in development. I wonder what took me so long.

limom said...

Wow, glad nothing serious happened.
About the passing cars, I think it's the ones that give the extra wide berths that are dangerous.
Either they care too much, or they don't care at all.

Steve A said...

Pretty much all the motorists give me an extra wide berth. Should that worry me? I AM glad that cafiend wasn't seriously hurt.

rorowe said...

When I learned to drive, I was taught never to pass on hills, blind turns, or anywhere I couldn't see far enough ahead of me to safely pass.

I guess, to most motorists, a cyclist "changes the rules" (it shouldn't!).

That said, on my longest ride ever (26 miles, yay!) I had some of the best interactions with motorists ever. There's hope!

cafiend said...

Yes, rorowe, to motorists cyclists are different. Separate and decidedly unequal. That might get better some day. Meanwhile we keep riding and hope nothing nails us in spite of our best efforts.

Congrats on pushing the mileage. It's a great feeling.

@limom: You're right about the wide pass. The cyclist gets more room than necessary and oncoming motorists get pissed at the cyclist for "causing the problem."

With only two-lane roads around here, cyclists have a trickier job working with motor traffic ranging from motorcycles to double-trailer logging trucks.