Thursday, November 22, 2007

Ride home for Thursday, 22 November

The muppets have a new trick, and three of them played it on me on the way home. It goes something like this:

1. See the cyclist ahead.
2. Overtake the cyclist.
3. Realise the destination is immediately on the right.
4. Stop in the middle of the road. For bonus points, don't indicate.
5. Look bemused when I stop and sit behind as I don't want to get another right hook.

So, instead of waiting behind me for, say, 5 seconds or so, the muppet ends up waiting 30 to 60 seconds (yes, a muppet sat in the road for a minute, I counted it off) while we sit in a Mexican standoff.

Apparently there were 5 motor vehicle crashes in Halifax this evening. I passed one at the intersection of Bayer's Road and Joseph Howe Drive. It looked like a driver was turning left and had tried to race against an oncoming furniture van and lost quite badly. There was a fire truck in attendance, along with an ambulance and police officers. All this blocked off pretty much whole of Bayer's Road going straight or turning right, backing it up quite considerably. I rode around all the stopped traffic then walked my bike across Joseph Howe on the pedestrian crossing lights. The roads were extremely quiet for the rest of the way home...

Distance logged: 12.912km
Time: 43:45
Average speed: 17.7km/hr
Max speed: 42 km/hr
Temperature: 5C, showers
Cumulative distance: 4324.790km
Cumulative cost per km: $0.21
Monthly distance: 454.405km
Monthly cost per km: $0.08


Anonymous Eric said...

Hey Steve, I've been reading your blog for a while... we ride a similar route around a similar time on the weekdays, and so its somewhat surprising to read of your various encounters with muppets. I ride from Fairview to downtown, and chose a direct route, much of which is over high traffic roads. So far I've had numerous minor incidents, and had been right-hooked once, cut off may be twice, and buzzed maybe 15-20 times. I haven't come across too many incidents that would qualify for muppet status tho... do you think it has to do with route selection and/or time of day?

Friday, November 23, 2007 2:52:00 pm  
Blogger steve said...

I think it might be because I learnt to drive in the UK, which has extremely stringent road rules because of traffic density (imagine 62 million people living on an island not much bigger than Nova Scotia). As a result I'm extremely sensitive to driver misbehaviour. I know a few other ex-pat Brits and they're similarly unimpressed by the level of skill it's necessary to show to get a license to drive in Nova Scotia.

It might aso have to do with the fact that being fairly large, drivers tend to assume I'm not going very fast and get surprised that I'm actually cruising along at 30km/hr or so.

What route do you take, out of interest? I tend to take residential roads, which could be another factor.

Monday, November 26, 2007 9:20:00 pm  
Anonymous Eric said...

On the way in I take Main-Fairview Overpass-Kempt-Agricola-Cogswell-Brunswick

On the way back I take Rainnie-Agricola-Bayers-Dutch Village

Do you think the high traffic routes, with higher speed traffic, drivers tend to have better skill? You still get your inconsiderate minority - hence I get buzzed a bit too often. But I've really only been right-hooked once by an old guy. Doing 30 kph on Bayers road is perhaps a tat slow and the drivers might get annoyed, but 30 kph on a residential street might surprise some people like you said...

I totally understand your experience with UK roads - my Dad learned to drive under the British system in Hong Kong and says the same thing. I learned to drive in Toronto - so while the training is still pretty inadequate, the volume of traffic and aggressiveness of other drivers make you learn rather quickly. Sink or swim...

Tuesday, November 27, 2007 9:19:00 am  
Blogger steve said...

I don't know if it's necessarily better skill (I'm assuming most of the drivers that pass me go on the higher speed roads as well) but on residential roads drivers might feel they don't have to pay as much attention since there isn't so much traffic around them. The downside (for me, at least) of riding on the high traffic roads is the sheer amount of pollution from cars, which is something I'm rather sensitive to.

That said, I came in via Lacewood this morning, which made a pleasant change. The massive tailwinds weren't something I was complaining about, either!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007 8:51:00 pm  

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