What a weird ride home! Springfield is generally a great place to ride. Motorists are generally polite, alert, and easy to get along with. I usually go weeks at a time without any incidents, but not today.
I was tooling down Fremont as I usually do. I’m riding at a good clip in the right tire track of a nice, two-lane street when I noticed a car following that didn’t want to go around me for some reason. There were a few parked cars in the other lane ahead of us, but he/she had plenty of room if they really wanted to get around me. After a while, the car finally starts around me, giving a reasonably wide berth, so I actually moved to the right just a little. As I did, I happened to glance over and couldn’t believe what I saw!
Now picture this. I’m just to the right of the right tire track. The car is passing me on the left. In addition, an idiot is passing that first car! There are three of us lined up across Fremont going in the same direction! And to top it off, there is a car coming! I hit my brakes hard just to get out of the picture, and when I did, the idiot doing the passing also decided they were in a bad place and braked to slide in behind the first car. Luckily I was far enough back by that point that I could just watch it! I just shook my head in annoyance.
About 6 blocks later, I had turned east on Bennett and was heading for home at a pretty good clip. That stretch of street is usually pretty busy, so I didn’t think much of it when a blue Prius like Pam’s passed me. Shortly after it passed, it started slowing down, getting my attention. Foolishly, I was distracted by the fact that it was an exact match to our car and looked at it’s license plate to be sure it wasn’t my dear sweet wife passing me and slowing down for something. About that time, it took a right turn in front of me into the apartment complex across from Kraft. No turn signal. No indication the driver even knew I was there. Geez!
Soon after that, I saw the sign pictured above. It’s a political sign from our local auctioneer turned politician. I thought it was fitting for the afternoon I was having.
As I approached the light at Sunshine on Eastgate, all of a sudden a car heading in the opposite direction laid on it’s horn with a long blast. It was already behind me at that point, and I could see a car slowing down as it got into the left turn lane, but didn’t really see what happened.
As I stopped for the light my phone rang with a number I didn’t recognize. Since the light is really long, I went ahead and answered it.
“Tracy, this is Ken S. What are you doing?”
“I’m riding my bike, dude. What are you doing, I’ve not seen or heard from you in ages”.
“That was me, honking. We’ve been to see Sam’s mom and saw you!”
Holy cow, the loud, long honk was directed at me, albeit a friendly one for a change! Ken is the brother-in-law of my good friend Sam. We rode BAK together three years ago, and a week after that, he was out riding his bike and had a heart attack that nearly killed him. He’s not been able to ride since, which is a real shame. He’s a great guy that loved to ride his bike.
This is a picture of Ken and I on the Kansas/Colorado border in 2007. I’m the little guy next to the big one!
As I said, what a weird commute home tonight….