Metal Bike Commuter

Bicycle Accident

Posted in bike commute by metaljaybird on August 18, 2008
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While getting ready this morning, I heard some sirens ringing through my street.  So I’m driving my car down the street and notice a little traffic jam going the opposite way on Merrie Trail.  There I see the police car blocking off traffic to this street, and I notice a bicycle laid out in the middle of the street.  I slow down, because the curiosity got the best of me.

I then witness the police officer helping the bicyclist up from the street.  He was definitely walking with a limp.  The thing is, he was wearing a bright green neon jersey.

I don’t know what happened, but I ride past this street almost everyday.  (Today I had to drive in as again, I was not up in time).  There are two one way streets that meet here.  If the bicyclist was going around the curve on the right side, a driver may have come by and gone straight into the second (outer) street as the bicyclist was navigating past that street to continue down the inner street.

Here’s hoping he’ll have a short recovery.


Bad Driver in the Indian Lake section of Denville

Posted in bike commute by metaljaybird on July 31, 2008
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On the way to work today, I was cruising along Indian Road when I spot a black pickup truck blow a stop sign and pull right in front of me.  I have enough time to mutter to myself, “why you…” before the guy pulls wide to turn into a parking spot in front of the Corner Stone Cafe in the Indian Lake neighborhood of Denville.  I had to clamp down on my brakes and try to turn around him, barely making it past him without slamming into the bed of his pickup.

That was the last straw.  First he breaks the law by blowing a stop sign, then he cuts me off, and then he almost causes an accident by pulling wide into the other lane (I was directly behind him), using NO signal to turn right into a parking spot.

I let him have it:

“Hey, why don’t you learn how to drive, you almost caused me to run into the back of your truck!”

He replies, “Why don’t you learn how to ride a bike, you were going too fast through an intersection!”

“What?  15 MPH in a 25 MPH speed zone is too fast?!?”

“On a bike it is!”

Wait…so if I was going 25 MPH in a car, and he pulled the same stunt, somehow this is more acceptable?!  Man was I fuming angry at this point.  And despite the fact that I was going 10 miles under the speed limit, with the right of way, he thought it was too fast?

I continued:

“I have just as many rights as you do, why don’t you learn how to drive?”  (I like that phrase, as you can see).

We continued with some PG-13 words and then I finally took off shaking my fist.

Granted, I as the bicyclist should have just let this go, but the fact is, this was some of the most idiotic examples of poor driving I have witnessed in my entire life.  And also, this was my first confrontation with a driver since starting my bicycle commuting adventure over 2 months ago.

While I’m fuming mad continuing on to work, someone yells “Nice shortcut!” on 53.  I immediately get on the defense thinking someone else is trying to cause trouble, so I kick my legs into high gear and catch up to the driver.  “Pardon me?”  “Oh, nice shortcut, you beat me around the light when cutting through the A&P parking lot”  “Oh, ok, yeah just trying to get to work”  He asked how far my commute was and seemed impressed before speeding off.

To top things off, I witnessed a truck driver blow a red light.  He almost collided into a car turning left, so I yelled “YO!”  He slammed on his brakes and I heard him say “Whoa!!!”

My only regret is that I did not get the cut-off-entitlement-driver’s license plate.  I should have taken a picture of it with my camera phone, but alas, my adrenaline was in high gear so I was not in the right state of mind.

Thankfully all is fine, and I just finished my second cup of joe.  If I ever see him again…well, I’ll probably just glare at him.