Saturday, December 18, 2010

Shaking Scared, my dear Readers

Greetings Readers

The Present - I personally do not believe in the bucket list.

Flashback - 39 hours ago - I had to leave work early, well technically on time, since my contacts came in and I needed to pick them up.

I left work about 4:30 PM and then I was the leaving the eye doctor about 5:00 PM or so. I was in familiar territory that I bike regularly in, but since the season is now Winter and the night is fully here I have to be more alert when biking at this hour. Especially so, with the 5:00 o'clock after work rush hour, December, and people trying to get home.

I was unsure which way to get home - take one of the main thoroughfares? Take the residential streets home? Take the round about way home, which means zigging and zagging home, but the safest way home.

Oh yes, I had the reflective yellow and white vest, My front bike light, my back red bike that someone said if someone lived on the moon that they would be able to see my bike back light flashing from Colorado. LOL. I also had my green flashing light, which is attached to my backpack. That light was acquired the day before the 24 Hours of Boulder and I have to admit I do like the light. So much so, that I am actually using everyday. The only thing that is missing is my bike helmet. Nothing more, or less, that I can say about that.

I do admit that I did not cross at an intersection. So, I am to blame for what almost came to be.

There is a Tokyo Joe's in this little strip mall and thought to myself - maybe.

Full dark was here traffic was stacked going South on Yosemite. Going North, there was no traffic. Instead of heading to the next light I decided to cut through the vehicles that were stopped since the red light was on.

Readers, you know the roads. Usually there are two lanes. The on the right side of the road there is not a lane, per se, but a turning lane. Usually there is a sign indicating right lane must turn right. You just can not use that lane to keep going straight. Albeit, whether it be street sign or the white markings on the road indicated with a white turning arrow or the white line indicating that you must turn right. Buses except, of course.

That was where I decided that I was going to cut across. Traffic was stopped in both lanes going South and I knew that cars are to turn right - suppose to anyway.

Side note - "I have the right" - You know Readers that is one thing I can not say in this situation. First of all, I should not be cutting across vehicles waiting at a stop light. After all - it is fact that is where bikers have a greater chance of getting hit. Whether it be cutting or weaving in and out through stalled traffic may be ok to you. It is not. And yes, I know this.

Well, I looked at the stop light - still red and I could still see the green light on the cross traffic. Traffic is at a standstill on where I want to cross. Looking good and safe. I casually road in and through the first lane nearest the lane going in the opposite direction. I did not make any eye contact with any drivers since I was looking at traffic around my area. I get to the second lane and cross in front of a SUV type of vehicle. I could not actually see over or around the vehicle, yet I kept the same speed I was biking at. Not normal biking but probably faster than I should be going while cutting across through two lanes of stopped traffic.

I reached the final lane, which is a turning lane only. I saw a pair of headlights coming down the turning lane. I kept going. In a second. Yes Readers, in that one second I noticed that one car was not going to turn right.

I acted on instinct. Again, being aware of my surroundings is something I do and I would have to say that was the only thing that kept me from being a statistic. I managed to stop, turn my front wheel to the left, put my left foot down. I said, I was two inches from being hit, but I think it was an inch.

I stopped so fast, but again Readers, as I wrote I was biking faster than I probably should have been. My back end of the bike came off the ground and was threatening to flip me off. The bike swung to the left and was going to swing into the car and taking me with it.

Another second later the car was already at the stop light turning west. She was gone. Yes she. I saw her scared face barely, and I did not even have time to cuss or anything else.


Another second later I get my foot on the bike pedal and try to pedal to the side walk, but I could not get on the bike pedals. I was shaking pretty badly.

Readers, I really scared myself on what just happened. And what might have been. And I do not get shaking scared at all. That I can remember.

I tried to get pedalling knowing the light is going to turn green. I could not do it. Still straddling the bike I walk the bike to the entrance of the strip mall and then take a few breaths.

I did not look around. I was concerned for myself. I could fucking care less what people just almost witnessed or what not.

In this strip mall there is a liquor store - Fuck Tokyo Joe's. I needed a drink. Something to calm me down. I grabbed a 6 pack of 2 Below and carefully biked home on the sidewalks and residential back streets to get home from perhaps getting hit again.

I was still shaking slightly when I arrived home about two miles later.

Getting back to the first sentence of this post - I am not going to create / do a bucket list - due to this very close incident. Fucking close Readers. Hmmm... let me talk about a bucket list on a future post though.

Yet, I did think about the last words I said to some people in my life. Most good, a few bad and well... last words, in a sense.

Until the next time

Daryl Charley
The Fallen Athlete

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