Friday, June 17, 2016

Commuting stories: near miss

A lot of bike riders are thinking some other bike riders are doing a pretty awful job following the rules.  And it seems that some aren't following the rules.  Just this morning, at Somerville Ave and Washington St in Somerville, I was noticing that one of the three bike boxes wasn't filled by cars (yes, drivers don't universally follow the rules either).  Just then a large group of students led by teachers was crossing in front of us on the crosswalk.  The light changed and the cars and cyclists waited.  But then another cyclist pulled into the intersection and cut through students to get on his way.  As another cyclist said to me, "now I see why everyone hates us".  It looked pretty bad although no one was hit.  I've long thought that the idiots (or bullies or massholes) who do such things on bikes probably drive like that as well.  And someone put that in writing for me just the other day:

I've been harassed by some of those bullies lately.  I've had people run red lights and cut me off and then yell at me and threaten me despite that I had the green light.  Lesson: don't talk back to bullies, they fade away when ignored (most of the time).  And they seem to be coming out of the woodwork these days, thanks to a certain presidential candidate.  I'm guessing that I know who they are voting for come November.

But the biggest bullies and the biggest massholes drive cars and buses - they can do a lot more damage than a bully on a bike.  I've heard enough grumbling about bus drivers although I've had few problems with them myself.  That is, until Wednesday morning.

I've leave it as the three unsent tweets I wrote:

If you saw only part 2 then you would have seen a dumb cyclist fall when he couldn't unclip his pedals. (1/3)

If you saw part 1 then you would have seen him start to get his left foot unclipped but then a big bus speeding 2 feet from him. (2/3)

The bus was running the red that the cyclist was stopping for. Option was to fall away from bus, onto sidewalk. Police called. (3/3)

Or in a haiku:

Big bus rumbles by
Has not a care in the world
Knocks me down, unseen

So I'm not a poet but still be careful out there.  It gets far worse than what than what I experienced this week.  Say a prayer for the victim but also work for change in laws and enforcement of the present laws because things like this don't need to occur: