Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Weekend update

I know, I know it's Wednesday already. Here's what's happened since our last exciting episode.

Friday, July 8: An afternoon at the beach on Friday inspired me to head to Publix for some Wild American Shrimp. North of the Habersham Village area, a white Mercedes overtook me, pulled into the bike lane, stopped and the started coming toward me in reverse. I steered into the main lane of traffic to avoid the car. As I passed I prepared to issue a mighty blast from the air horn. Just as I passed the driver's window I hit the switch and...a pathetic "meow" escaped from the horn. I must remember to keep that air reservoir full.

Miles: 5
Weather: Clear, 93 degrees.
Time of day: Early evening
Other cyclists observed: 1 (recreational)
Number of cyclists riding on the wrong side of the street: 1
Total miles this bike year: 21

Saturday, July 9: H came with me rent DVDs from Hollywood Video and pick up some items from Publix. Our trip back across Abercorn from the video store was delayed because our bikes would not trigger the traffic signal. Soon enough, a car came up behind us. The light turned green and we crossed with the car, sort of like remoras traveling with a shark. On the way home, I noticed a strange object ahead in the northbound bike lane. As I approached I realized that it was a blown-out bicycle inner tube. I hate all the debris that winds up the bike lanes, but at least this came from another bike.

Miles: 5
Weather: Overcast, 87
Time of day: Early evening
Other cyclists observed: 0
Number of cyclists riding on the wrong side of the street: 0
Total miles this bike year: 26

Sunday, July 10: My original destination was Star Bike on Montgomery Cross Road. But I ended up going much farther than that. Before stopping in at Star, I made a side trip to K-Mart. I bought a cheap Bell rearview mirror for three bucks. I installed it out front where I had locked my bike to a display swing set (no bike racks to be found).

As I exiting parking lot, a Honda Accord travelling on a diagonal path across the parking lot passed a couple feet in front of me. Gave him a blast of the air horn. He looked startled. Then honked back.

Not three minutes later on the other side of White Bluff Road, a car overtook me and the driver laid on his horn, because, well, I don't have any idea why people feel compelled to do that. I responded on the air horn and the effect was dramatic. This particular motorist preferred to operate his vehicle from a nearly horizontal position (his seat was nearly fully reclined). Well, when he heard the horn, he sat upright as if he had been awakened from a dream. He slowed the car, craned his head around to see where the noise came from and stared at me for a couple seconds and then blew his horn again. Then he turned right at the next intersection (without stopping for the stop sign).

At Star Bike I bought a Planet Bike taillight, something that was missing from my rig. I noticed the bicycle path continued past the shop. I wondered, how far did it go? I had to find out. I followed it through the Paradise Park neighborhood and then crossed Abercorn on Tibet Avenue. The path continued down Largo, crossed back across Abercorn and into the Windsor Forest neighborhood where it either it ended or I lost it. I realized how close I was to the Savannah Mall, so I decided to stop in at Target. On the way home I took Middleground Road, turned near St. Joseph's Hospital, and eventually made it back to Largo, at which point I rejoined the bike route.

I stopped off at Publix on the way home. I locked the bike to a long cart corral that's located in front of the building. It's under the overhang of the building and normally doesn’t have any cars in it. When I came out of the store, the bike was leaning at an extreme angle, held upright only by the lock cable. Someone had rammed a shopping cart into the handlebars. It didn't look like an accident.

On the way home, a guy on an electric scooter departed the Jones Red and White store and rode north in the southbound bike lane, all the way to 50th Street.

I tracked my route on this handy Goople Maps mod site. The results are here.

Miles: 49
Weather: Overcast, 85
Time of day: Afternoon
Other cyclists observed: 1 (utility) 8 (recreational) 2 (competitive/training)
Number of cyclists riding on the wrong side of the street: 4
Total miles this bike year: 44

Tuesday, July 12: Returned the DVDs. There were no cars available to trigger the light, so I had to ride over to the pedestrian signal and hit the button. This whole area is so inhospitable to pedestrians; I wonder how many people have actually pressed that button. The light does not allow much time to cross the street, so pedestrians really have to step it up, I bet.

On the way home, the northbound bike lane was full of runners. Two, headed north, turned onto side streets before I got closer than a half block away. One southbound runner moved to the sidewalk as I approached. This was the latest I've been on the road this Bike Year. Fired up the lights on the way home.

Miles: 49
Weather: Clear, 90
Time of day: Evening
Other cyclists observed: 1 (utility)
Number of cyclists riding on the wrong side of the street: 0
Total miles this bike year: 49

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