My first ride in May was also my first morning (before work) ride of the year. With Indiana now observing daylight saving time, I have to ride partly in the dark to get a ride in between 6:00 and 7:00. I took the River Road/Campus route, but I traveled clockwise so that I would be heading west on River Road. With the morning traffic heading east, I figured I’d be safer.
Wrong! An SUV came up behind me while I was in the hilly and curvy section, and the driver decided that he couldn’t wait more than 2 seconds to get around me. He jumped out to pass, and just then a pickup heading west (at a pretty fast clip) appeared over the hill right in front of us. SUV guy floored it and swerved around me – forcing pickup guy to dodge into the grass to avoid getting hit. I just grabbed my brakes and braced for the debris storm. Somehow, no one made contact with anyone else, and we all rolled away. SUV guy fled at top speed, and pickup guy just kept going. It took me a few seconds to remember to pedal again.
In my environment, unsafe passing seems to be my worst threat. It happens to me on every ride. I’ve only had one encounter (that I can recall) where a driver didn’t see me, and that was many years ago. (A young lady was turning left from a side street as I crossed intersection. She had a stop sign; I didn’t. Just before she rammed into me, I yelled ‘HEY’ in my best angry dad voice. She slammed on the brakes and looked very guilty.) With my lights, reflectors, and orange vest, I’m pretty visible. Plus, I ride in the right tire path, so I’m not hiding in the gutter out of their line of sight. Each time this passing thing happens, I find myself riding farther to the left hoping to convince the drivers that they need the whole left lane to get around.
Anyway, I’m rambling. Despite that one incident, I still had a good ride, and I hope to get more mornings in.
Miles Ridden: 10.4