Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Behind the Wheel

After three days of 20 mile rides in some of the highest heat and humidity of the summer, I needed a little more sleep this morning. Bicycling to work in a timely manner was out of the question.

Today, and the next couple of days, have me moving to multiple locations for inservice training. The organizers probably think that it's really cool that they're offering such a smorgasboard of learning opportunities.

I can't help but wonder if making it so that the majority of participants have no choice but to use motorized transport for the next couple of days is really necessary. But, after all, this is Texas, and driving is what we do . . .

On the way home, a quick glance at the speedometer showed me to be 15 mph over the speed limit. That's what I get for going with the flow of traffic. It also revealed how much less conscious I am as a motor vehicle operator than as a cyclist.

That's more than a little bit scary, don't you think?

Slowing down to the speed limit, I noticed that I was getting passed, a lot, at speeds comparable to what I had been driving. However, I also noticed that drivers pulled into the lane at about the same distance behind me as they did when I was riding my bike. Honestly, I hadn't paid that much attention to that before.

Here's a thought for an experiment: What if I slowed my car down to about 20 mph on my commute home? The three roads have posted speed limits of 35, 40, and 45 mph. I wonder what the reaction of other drivers would be compared to how they react to me as a slow-moving cyclist?

I'll have to try that soon and report back here with the results.

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