Saturday, August 04, 2007

My bike ride today, and a rant on road carnage.

Here is where I rode my bike today! Click to see in more detail.

Well, Dave might be a little miffed that I didn't go with him to Bragg Creek and then ended up bike riding today anyhow, but the ride I did today was really a personal best and amazing weather to boot. For me this was the longest ride I've ever done, though it turns out that I was shy of 100km (Kevin has me way, way beat for distance biking...) I feel pretty proud of it, and I wanted to share!

Country Hills blvd from Citadel to Beddington trail is insane to bike. It's like 60-70kph the whole way, all down hill, reasonable amounts of traffic and the speed limit hits 80 in places (which means people are maybe doing 90...) To tell you the truth I have no idea how fast I was going. But it would be pretty ugly if something happened with the bike so I think I'll not do it again. Still, was glad to do it once.

The low point was when I saw a motorcyclist and his girlfriend being loaded into ambulances. This was McKnight and Center St. and you can probably read about it in the paper tommorow. It looked to me like he got crossed (i.e., left-turned-in-front-of) by a careless driver who did not notice him. This is very common problem on a bicycle, and on motorbikes, because the smaller visual profile means that drivers don't see us as easily.

People, be careful. I have never driven a car, so I see traffic from a very different perspective than you. Trust me, you are all very distracted out there. You think you aren't. You are. Sorry but it's true. And it's not just bikers who are put into danger, it's yourself, other people in your car, people in other cars, and particularly pedestrians (according to some studies there is a higher fatality rate per hour of activity being a pedestrian than being a cyclist.)

A car is an enclosed space and it tends to divorce one from any sense of how fast you are travelling. As someone with a little different view, please be advised that 50kph is too fast to drive without paying total attention. 70kph is, for all intents and purposes, faster than you can probably drive safely even if you are paying attention. At 100kph it's mainly traffic engineers, vehicle and road maintainence that are keeping you alive.

Sorry for ranting, I know i'm a little "hot" right now having seen a guy and his girlfriend probably killed today. We all do stupid things, lose our minds on the road; certainly I do too sometimes. Please just be as careful as you can, don't talk on the cellphone, be patient, and maybe there will be a little less carnage out there. God Bless!


Dave King said...

That looks like an amazing ride. I'm sure that it's over 100 km. Google maps won't capture all the small turns and on a ride that size it adds up.

- Peace

PsySal said...

It's definitely something I'd do again, except for country hills blvd. The whole rest of the ride is quite managable traffic-wise. The trouble is the north is so darned hard to negotiate, at least for me. Everything curves around in wierd ways. I know though, I could take Edgepark BLVD south and then through varsity, that would make the ride a fair bit shorter since I'm not going north of Nosehill Park. But I think there might even be bike paths up there, and towards the end of such a long ride, it might be reasonable to take it a bit slower.