Living Outside The Box Born-Again Techo-Geek Renaissance Man

31Jul/110

How Your Life Changes In Two Seconds

Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Got up at 5:00 and packed the bike with a day’s change of clothes, lunch, and ate breakfast.

5:50 I jump on the bike and head down my street. I’m wearing reflective ankle bands, a reflective vest, and my bike has reflective tape on the frame, as does my helmet with mirror. I have a 4-watt led headlight in front, a solid and a blinking tail light, the big ones powered by a special front wheel I built using a generator in the hub, never needs changing batteries.

I decide to ride to work through Nicholls State, crossing Bayou Lafourche at the Audubon street bridge. All is quiet, no traffic, making good time. I haven’t been pushing myself hard today because I was trying a new higher handle bar setup, and wanted to see if it was more comfortable.

There’s a short stretch where the shoulder runs out just as you get to Rosedown off of 308. Up to there, you get 20 miles of a huge shoulder, which isn’t bad, until you pass Reienzi and the shoulder narrows down to nothing, essentially forcing bike traffic and pedestrians into 45MPH 2-lane traffic. This is called a “pinch point” and it is very dangerous, so I either go into the lane early to force people to slow down, or I am forced to wait.

Today there is little traffic so I go into the lane, causing a car to have to slow a little to get around me, only for 50 feet or so. I then ride up Rue Loudon to cross Canal street at a “safe” intersection, traffic signal, etc. I wait till the light turns green for me (yes, bikes can trigger most light sensors) and when it changes, I stand and take off across the intersection.

Within the space of about 2 seconds, I get hit by a car, I end up laying in a twisted heap on the side of the road, my bike was thrown into the middle of the intersection. My left leg is pointing in the wrong direction. Time to stop and rethink life.

Posted by Jeff Hendricks

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