Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Message from Safety Suzie

I am officially in taper. My last long ride was yesterday. Rode some of the worst hills around which according to the altimeter were much worse than what I can expect in CDA. Transition run went well. So now, the legs get to start resting and slowly regaining some "spring" before the big day. As I was biking yesterday, I thought of a few brain teasers, if you will, and decided to share them with everyone... or at least those few of you that are reading this. (answers are at the bottom)

1. This is a 2 part question. There is a 3 lane road traveling north/ south, we'll call it Ellsworth. The road has a wide bike lane on either side which narrows slightly approaching stop lights. There is no traffic. A cyclist approaches a red light and riding in the bike lane, merges slightly into the right traffic lane at the stop light. A car traveling in the same direction (remember ZERO traffic) approaches the same stop light.

Which lane will the driver choose to stop in?
a. The left lane
b. The middle lane
C. The right lane (you know, the one occupied by the cyclist)

and why?

a. The driver observes the cyclist, rolls down his window to strike up a conversation about the Tour de France, and then invites the cyclist to a benefit later that evening to raise money for his cancer foundation.

b. The driver is blind and feels that the right lane is the safest lane for him/ her to be driving in.

c. The driver, Napolean, needs to prove himself by peeling out when the light turns green and leaving the cyclist in a cloud of diesel fumes. (I know I'm always turned on by a man who can drive faster than a cyclist.)

2. A cyclist is most likely to be hit by a car in which of the following scenarios?

a. Biking down the Beeline Highway in rush hour traffic. Throw in a U-Turn at Shea Boulevard just for fun. Average speed of traffic 80 mph.

b. Biking on the one lane roads that twist and turn and wind around to and from Saguaro Lake. Average speed of traffic 35-45 mph.

c. Biking to work on city streets with wide bike lanes. The cyclist encounters 3-5 school zones along the way which have speed limits of 15 mph.

So, today I had a fairly miserable 12 mile run. However there was one thing that put a smile on my face. My long run follows canal trails for about half of the distance and then winds through some of my favorite neighborhoods. Along the canal there is about a mile and half that has water running through it. In the winter, I like to count how many ducks are swimming on the canal. There's not so many in the summertime- I guess they fly somewhere cooler... but today, I saw a female duck and 6 ducklings swimming. They were so cute! And of course the mean white goose was on the trail and I had to time my approach just right so that a mountain biker coming from the opposite direction was between the goose and myself when I passed him. He'll chase you and try to bite! I figured the biker was on wheels and could make a faster escape.
Ok, I know you're all waiting for the answers to the riddles. So here they are...

1. C. The right lane
C. Napolean complex. Although if you live in Arizona, and you chose B, I'll give you credit for that answer too. (Our driver's licenses don't expire till we're 65 so there are some really sketchy people out on the road.... Look out!!!)

2. C. Soccer moms talking on cell phones, drinking coffee, and scheduling their social activities for the day while dropping their kids off at school do NOT pay attention. Also, school buses don't have to obey traffic rules. (they don't, do they? I never see them obey traffic rules). Lesson: AVOID SCHOOL ZONES AT ALL COSTS!!!

Keep it safe out there! With the gas prices there are more bicycle commuters on the streets. Keep your eyes open and be aware. Put the phones down. Don't be distracted. That's someone's loved one on that bicycle you are about to run over! What if I run your kid over the next time I drive through a school zone? Don't like it? Didn't think so! Happy cycling!

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