Thursday, October 16, 2008

On Two Wheels

As you probably know, I'm not a driver. However, I do still know the rules of the road, since I do cycle to get to places. Indeed, I probably follow the rules of the road rather more stringently than do most cars around here. Today, I went to the library. Because the bus company is idiotic, when the library is actually open, the buses don't run past it, and when it isn't open, they do. This meant that I had the expensive and tiring option, or the cheap and tiring option. I went for cheap and tiring, and set off on my nice not-all-that-shiny Trek to reach the library.

Now, the most direct route takes me along Contra Costa. This is all well and good, but I didn't want to go along Contra Costa because a) it's being worked on at the moment and b) people drive like maniacs along there. So, I worked out an alternative route, shown below:

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This route is still almost entirely on public roads, aside from the section along the EBMUD trail, but those are much less busy roads. So, off I went, and was taking the lanes from the beginning. At the first stoplight, I was in the middle lane, and so it continued. All the drivers I encountered were perfectly OK with my behaviour. I count that as a great success for the vehicular cycling philosophy, which holds that as a cyclist one should behave as a vehicle, and this will cause cars and other motorised entities to treat you as a vehicle. Not a single vehicle cut me off, several actually deferred to me at multi-way stops (!), and I astounded one chap in a VW by being less than a length behind when we left one intersection, having been next to him (and in the middle tending left of my lane, so that those turning right could filter past while I retained ownership of straight ahead; safety and courtesy) at the light.

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