Friday, March 21, 2008

The Right Hook

Yesterday on my way home from work, as I chugged up a slight hill at a decent speed (my guess is about 15-20 MPH) I approached a side street. As I generally do in this situation, I edged to the left by a couple of feet to place myself about 3 to 4 feet off the curb for better visibility by cars both pulling out and approaching from behind. When I was about 20 feet from the corner a silver Mercedes Benz zoomed up beside me and I knew I was in trouble as it seemed to be decelerating. About 10 feet from the intersection, the car, still going pretty fast began its right turn with me roughly even with the back passenger side door and now traveling faster than the decelerating car. I grabbed the brakes and wrung the levers for all they were worth, while screaming out whatever expletives came to mind. For an instant, both of us decelerated at the same rate as the driver squeezed me closer to the curb. It was at that moment that the driver heard me, stopped a few feet into the side street and allowed me to pass. The whole event took place in about 3 seconds or less. I was lucky. My hope is that the driver of that car learned something other than "cyclists have short tempers". Still, It may be time to upgrade my brakes.

PS I stole the image from , a very good resource if you plan to ride in traffic.


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