What’s a bicycle? It’s simply some lines. I’m not attached to bicycles more than to any other kind of object, it’s just that they have so useful lines 🙂
I don’t ride bicycles. No more. I did it ten, fifteen years ago, and then I decided it’s too dangerous. Well, you can let traffic regulations penalize you, keep to bicycle lanes that were obviously always an afterthought, can fight pedestrians and dogs, unable to overtake slow riders on those narrow lanes, always in danger of getting killed by careless car drivers anyway.
Or else you play the real game, ride fast, ride on car lanes, are part of the traffic. That’s what I used to do. This way the bike was an incomparably fast means of transport, winning effortlessly against cars or public transport, at least in a city. The problem is, using car lanes is forbidden now, at least where there are bike lanes. Sounds reasonable, would be reasonable, but only if the bike lanes were actually constructed for fast riding, allowing for overtaking, and wouldn’t constantly change sides for no reason, every time with a low priority semaphore.
But even if I had my way, it would still be dangerous. I stopped using the bike when I had an accident, about ten years ago. It was entirely my fault. I had stopped at a semaphore, second behind a small red car. I knew I had to be fast to get over the next few crossings without having to stop, thus when the car in front of me accelerated quickly, so did I. While switching gears I viewed down to the chain for only a split-second. I had had problems with the chain not changing gears properly some weeks before. Bad habit, I know. Just at that moment the car suddenly stopped, as sudden as its acceleration had been. The driver wanted to turn to the right into a garage. Oh dear. I’m not sure if I had been able to stop if I had not looked down. Maybe yes, maybe no. I was slightly too near in any case. As it was, I had no chance. I managed to slow down almost to a halt, but only almost, and the result were two dents from my handle bar on the car’s back door and a damaged helmet of mine.
Nothing bad did happen, I felt a little dizzy, the bike was OK, and I drove on to work. The problem is another one:
I know I made some mistakes, and the car driver behaved strangely, first starting like for a race, and then only two seconds later braking hard, but the problem is, this can happen anytime again. If I want to make sure that nothing like that can ever happen again, I have to drive in a way that would make me crazy. It’s no fun. I hate it.
Or else I don’t ride bicycles at all. That’s what I did since. But then, photographing and riding bicycles, that’s probably pretty incompatible anyway 🙂
By the way, this image is from January 26, and tomorrow I’ll go working again. The snow is not at all inappropriate. Most of today it was snowing lightly.
The Song of the Day is “Simply” from Sara Hickman’s 1989 album “Equal Scary People”. It’s not a really good match for the image, in fact it’s a lousy match. It’s a love song, but as a love song it is so beautiful, that I just had to have it here today.
Sara Hickman is great. I have two of her albums, both quite old now. I had not followed her career since, but when I looked today, I found that she has made quite some albums since, almost one per year – and almost nothing is available as digital downloads, many not even as CD any more.
Interestingly enough I found a beautiful, private live performance of this song on YouTube. Imagine, you’re invited by friends for Thanksgiving, by chance Sara Hickman is there as well, and she even sings a few songs for you. How much luck is that?