For the second time in two days I put my bike’s brake to the test on my way home. Yesterday it was because of a car not paying attention as he cruised through one of those traffic-calmed intersections with the obstruction in the centre. I don’t know exactly what the protocol is but I feel like he was the crosser of my street so I had the right of way. Probably hard to say. My brake worked and so did his and nobody got hurt. He got scowled at so his feelings may have been hurt. I apologize for nothing.
Today I was coming down the big hill on 10th going down to Alma. It’s an awesome hill, with a view of the city and no crazy traffic jumping out into your way. I’m always careful because there’s a traffic light at the bottom so I don’t just let myself go pell-mell, but I get up to a good gravity-fuelled pace. Once past the traffic signal tonight though I was approaching the next one (still at a good clip) where there was the line of stopped traffic and a line of parked cars.
“That’s fine,” I thought. “Plenty of room between the two.”
And then another car, an Audi, joins the traffic line, but a lot closer to the parked cars.
“Okay, I’ll slow down a bit to get through that gap. Hm. That gap looks a lot smaller than it should.”
And then I realize that the Audi is completely blocking my path through the traffic and I was not going to be able to get through, so I slam on my brake. Skid skid skid because the ground’s still wet from all the rain that was fucking miserable to bike through last night (which is normal Vancouver weather, I have to remember). While I was skidding I debated whether it was better to hit the parked car or the Audi, decided on the Audi who’d blocked my path, but managed to stop with more than a foot to spare.
I cussed out the Audi driver, but he didn’t notice because the traffic line had already begun moving. I hope it wasn’t you in that car.10th alma audi biking brakes car commute danger hill intersection rain street traffic vancouver wet