Monday, March 01, 2010

Shaken, not deterred

Luckily, I'm not posting this from a hospital bed or the morgue.

This morning I've the closest of close calls while riding to work. Typically my ride is essentially through suburban streets, but there is one choke point. Interstate 35 splits south of the Twin Cities and runs like two great scars on either side of the Mississippi river. One of these gashes slice through my commute at a rather dangerous intersection:

I enter this morass from the east on southbound Emerson Ave.  The two other yellow "streets" astride 35W are the entrance/exit ramps and these intersect 66th with street lights.  Today the lights and traffic were with me and I crossed 66th at Emerson and got on the sidewalk along the south side of 66th.  I waited for the light to change for the off ramp and crossed on the green.  The highway passes over the intersection and the westbound side has three lanes; two for westbound traffic and one turn lane for the entrance to 35W south.  I have come to expect that people turning across traffic to enter the freeway will not see me if I'm on the sidewalk or crossing the intersection as they're looking downstream for a gap in traffic so that they cross and accelerate. 

This morning, I saw a person in an SUV and on their cell phone poised to turn and I wanted to make sure that I stayed well clear of someone who was not looking.  Eastbound traffic was heavy and I thought I was clear to cross the intersection when someone entering the ramp from eastbound 66th almost turned onto me.  I looked ahead just in time to give little strangled yelp as I stared into the oncoming SUV.  Luckily, we both managed to brake before someone (aka me) got hurt.  We stared at one another for a moment and then he backed up to let me pass -- right into another person turning onto the entrance ramp.

This fellow wasn't having a good morning and as I watched the woman of the stricken car get out to asses the damage, the SUV driver growled a "just go on" as he went to face the next horror of his morning.  I'm sure I will be the "some asshole on a bike" in his story at work, but I did have the right of way.  Not that it means much, but my wife and other survivors could have taken solace in that fact...

As I mentioned in my previous post -- stay frosty.  This is not spring and don't be like the tourist cagers, there is still March to contend with and I expect a lot of snow before I get to plant my radishes in six weeks.


Joboo said...

Glad you got outta that one without damage!!!!
everyone knows you can fix a damaged vehicle, isn't that what insurance is for??
the human body, on the other had is much harder to fix!!
keep them wheels turning!!

Peace, Joboo

Snakebite said...

Thee Bike Gods smiled on you. Glad you were not pancaked.

WheelDancer said...

Damn, should I feel sorry for the SUV driver or just chalk it up as poetic justice? As for you, glad you didn't end up a hood ornament!

Love the word play title by the way.

The Donut Guy said...

Yeah...screw the sheet metal. I'd rather have you around so I have something good to read in the morning:-)

Seriously, after nearly getting creamed by someone not paying attention...them getting some bent metal is karma paying them back for for having their head up their ass.

midway cyclist said...

Glad the guy woke up in time to stop and you're ok. I was just telling a friend about watching drivers looking both ways and still obviously not registering the bike that's right in front of them. The inattention is scarier than the malice because there's so much more of it.

Beast1624 said...

Sounds like it's about time for a good laser cannon or some photon torpedoes to help you plow through such binds in the future!

Beany said...

Wow that sucks! Glad you're okay.