31 March 2011

Bike commute day 10, to work

As I rose to the top of the banks above the Mad River, which stretches from the Findlay Street bridge to the firemen's training yards at McFadden Avenue, I saw a white van on the adjacent stretch of Monument Avenue. His window was open, despite the below-freezing temperatures; his hand was up to his ear, indicating a split attention between driving and using his cellphone. I called out, "Get off the phone" loud enough that he glanced over at me. I smiled, which along with my nose was probably the only visible part of my face shrouded in a full-head stocking cap and smoked glasses. He nodded, smiled, and then resumed his phone conversation.
Bikeway (magenta) above the Mad River from the Findlay Street bridge to the firemen's training yards
March 2005 photo from Google Earth

It doesn't bother me greatly when as much as 25 yards separate the bikeway from the roadway, but inattentive drivers can be a real hazard on my route along residential streets in the first tenth of my commute and at the ten crossings once I've joined the bikeway. The Ohio legislature is due any day to vote on whether texting while driving is allowed or outlawed, which is outlawed in 30 states; but the legislature missed the mark many years ago in making it against the law to use a hand-held cellphone while driving, which is outlawed in eight states.

Of course, it is inattention of any sort that contributes to auto accidents ...and collisions with cyclists. If it were possible, could legislatures outlaw these activities while driving, which I have seen as a cause for a swerve or drift in a car's position in the road?
  • Lighting a cigarette
  • Eating
  • Tuning the radio
  • Changing a CD
  • Reading the newspaper
  • Consulting a map
  • Writing notes
  • Changing clothes
  • Talking animatedly
  • Reprimanding a child in the back seat
  • Reacting to spilled coffee in the lap

Temperature: 29°F at 07:30, 29 to 33°F at 09:15
Precipitation: none
Winds: none
Clothing: Top with 4 layers (Lycra longsleeve undershirt, skinsuit, arm warmers, poly fleece vest, Lycra-wool jacket); Bottom with 2 layer (skinsuit, quilted tights); ankle socks. Quilted gloves. (Comfortable; toes and fingers began to notice cold. Light sweating in chest & back.)
Bike: Trek 850
Time: 0:50:00 (approx.) for 11.86 miles
Bikeway users: 1 pedestrians, 6 deer, 1 cat

08:12—departing from home.
08:24—passing the zig-zag up from the Mad River Bikeway.
08:36—passing the west gate to Eastwood Park.
08:48—passing the trestle remains at Linden.
09:02—arriving at work.

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