Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Commuting stories #3

Four very short items:

1) I see a taxi driver pull up to a red light on Oxford in Cambridge.  He is saying to the cyclist, who got to the red light a few seconds before me, "do you want a light?" The driver hands the other cyclist a red blinky light.  The light changes and the taxi drives off.  The other cyclist starts to ride off.  I suggest that he use the light as I pass him and he stops and puts it on his backpack.  The other cyclist had a rear reflector and pedal reflectors so he was legal from the back but the blinky should make him more visible.  I had three rear red lights on, 2 solid and one blinking so it was no surprise that he offered the light to the other cyclist.

Not long after, as I was passing the Porter Exchange, a young woman in the right rear passenger seat in a sedan opened her door slightly and looked back before opening her door fully.  She sees me, or my headlights (yes, plural) and closes her door until I pass.  Thanks for looking out for me.  I've been running my generator light (last generation Busch and Mueller IQ CYO) and my old Nite Rider 600 at low power on a Paul Gino mount.  The Note Rider is low to the ground, aimed about 8 feet in front of the light, but the light is very visible, at least when I see my reflection in glass storefronts.  I've been doing this in part to make myself more visible in situations like this and also to better see potholes when cars are blinding me with their lights.

Later, on the Minuteman path in Arlington, a cyclist is approaching me.  The cyclist covers his light as he passed me so I'm not blinded.  I turned off the bright light when I got on the path and was running just my dyno powered lights.  The headlight has a cutoff at about 2.5 feet or 3 feet about fifty feet out (waist high on most adults) so I'm pretty sure I wasn't blinding him.

On Mass Ave, again, now in Arlington, I see a woman with her daughter in a SUV at stop light.  Her eyes are glued to her phone.  I was exhausted after a long day at work and couldn't muster up the energy to yell, "put down your phone" and the likely ensuing argument.  She had it her hand as she drove off.  I wish I had a GoPro.  Arlington police would have a copy and be visiting her right now if I did.  All the lights in the world couldn't alert that woman to presence of cyclists on the road.  I hope everyone is safe out there.

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