Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Perilous times

Wednesday, 23 July

My opportunities to go for real bike rides these days are so few and far between that when I get one, it's more useful as a stress reliever than as part of any focused training regimen. So I was excited, more or less, to head out for a couple hours this afternoon and chase some demons out of my brain. Turns out I just exchanged those stressful demons for the stress of some extremely close near-misses.

I was heading north on Juanita Drive, flying down the hill to the stop light at Simmonds. Literally out of the blue (well, maybe grey--it was still cloudy), a golf ball falls out of the sky and bounces off the pavement less than 6 feet in front of me. Mind you, I'm going 31 mph (the radar told me so), and that little white orb is probably going even faster. I instinctively cringed and ducked as much as you can on a bike because I had no idea which direction the ball would bounce. I never saw it again, but I had to wonder what good ANSI and SNELL certification does against errant golf balls from the Inglewood golf course.

I continue on my way home, much relieved to NOT have the headache a golf ball might have induced, even with a helmet on. I'm rolling up to a stoplight when a kid on a BMX bike comes flying out of a blind driveway without even looking up. I had enough time to wonder if he was going to crash into my front wheel or my right leg, but I was surely going to get t-boned one way or another. He was apparently practicing his right hook slides, because about 6 inches from my front wheel, he pulled hard right (he still hadn't seen me). I was proud of myself for not swearing at him, but I sure yelled a lot.

A block past that stoplight I was rolling up to, I came onto what appeared to be a 3-car accident. I must have missed it by less than 60 seconds. There were a lot of stunned-looking people standing around, and neighbors were just starting to come out of their houses. Traffic hadn't even started to back up, although one car was stopped in the middle of the street and another was diagonal in the intersection.

Is it a full moon? Is someone doing a bad job of trying to kill me? Is it safe to go out in my backyard and pick raspberries?

1 comment:

Juicey said...

That's too strange! Yesterday I had an old man in a truck almost t-bone me and I skated away. Then later in the ride, I had some thuggish looking kids act like they were going to mug me for my bike. I hooked a right and could hear their verbal disappointment. I blamed it on the moon too!