Monday, May 12, 2008

Bike Month Update

I've been warned

I awoke last Sunday morning to the sound of thunder. How far off I sat and wondered. Started humming a song from 1976 and for the rest of the day I couldn't get "Night Moves" out of my head.

Rain was in the forecast, so I jumped on the bike and went out for a ride. I figured I'd be inside for the rest of the day. I was heading east on Washington Avenue when a silver Crown Victoria overtook me. Just before it passed, I received a blast from its horn. I caught up with the driver as she was exiting the car at the corner of Washington and Waters. I said good morning and asked if she could please resist the urge honk at cyclists as she passed.

She said, "I honked to warn you that I was behind you."

I said, "I knew you were there. Blowing your horn wasn't necessary."

She said, "You were in the middle of the road and you should have a light on the back of your bike."

For the record, I was not in the middle of the road. I was actually farther right than I usually ride. And I did my Planet Bike Superflash was on the back of my bike. It wasn't on. But, obviously she saw me and honked so why was she suggesting that I needed a light? Somewhat befuddled, I managed this reply.

I said, "The problem with honking at a cyclist is that your attempt to warn them might actually startle them into your path."

She said, "You were in the middle of the road," and started to walk away.

I said, "Please, just think twice before honking at a cyclists again," and wished her a pleasant morning.

A mirror image commute

Monday brought a first for me. Despite the fact that I've commuted to work on a bicycle almost every day for a couple years now, I've never found myself in the company of the same bicycle commuter on both the way to work and the way home. But this morning, a guy on a gold Specialized mountain bike pulled up next to me as I waited for the light to change at the corner of Habersham Street and Victory Drive. That afternoon, he pulled up next to me on the other side of the same intersection. We started talking and I discovered he's the guy who wrote this excellent letter to the editor (scroll down past Tom Barton's head to "'Dump the Pump' is a great start").

Test riding the Wheelie

After work I quickly changed clothes and pedaled over to Historic Grayson Stadium to meet up with other members of the Savannah Bicycle Campaign. Our purpose was to reconnoiter the route for Sunday's Savannah Wheelie ride, which will include the mysterious Police Memorial Trail and portions of the Parkside Historic District. Everyone who rides in the Wheelie can purchase a ticket to see the Savannah Sand Gnats take on the Greenville Drive for $2 off the normal general admission price.

Official Endorsements

While I'm very pleased that Savannah Mayor Otis Johnson and Chatham County Commission Chairman Pete Liakakis participated in last month's Savannah Wheelie ride, I'm even more impressed with the ongoing commitment to cycling demonstrated by other city officials. Mary Landers catalogs some of them in her story about yesterday's Dump the Pump Coffee Break.

From the Bike Year Mailbag

Jason: Roc Bike is the first missing link that's no longer missing.

Christy: I'm presume you've tried Bicycle Link, Quality Bikes, Island Cycles and Star Bikes? If so, I guess your only other option is to keep an eye open for a trailer to show up on Craig's List or watch for a new trailer to go on sale from Nashbar or another mail order house. I have seen trailers at Goodwill, but not on a regular basis. Sorry I can't be of more help.

Matt: I'm glad you're OK. You should certainly get the driver's number if you are hit by a car. What's more, I'd say you should call the police as well. Why? To understand how many car vs. bicycle crashes occur, it's important that these incidents are reported. I didn't follow my own advice when this happened to me and I realize now I made a mistake.

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