Saturday, December 8, 2012
I tested out both the rear facing helmet reflector (red) and the forward facing "head"light (I used one of those miner style headlamps popular with the hiking/climbing/camping crowd). I perceived an immediate positive difference in the patience and care of the surrounding drivers. And this was a Friday rush hour test when sometimes that patience can be lacking. I felt as if I had graduated to the standing of a pedestrian which in the eyes of the motorist is one step closer to being a human.
Friday, December 7, 2012
There's a very short stretch of dirt between the sidewalk and the high school baseball field that I've recently been using as my own secret trail running route. It's mostly filled with weeds. There's no obvious reason to take this route as it directly parallels the sidewalk. And it only lasts a moment before one must return to the sidewalk. But I take it. I like it. It's far, far from a nature path. It's right along a busy residential street. And it's short. But it's there. It's earth. It feels good under the feet. It rained recently so the ground has been a bit muddy along this stretch. I saw someone's footprints and I followed them. He matched me stride for stride. My right hitting just to the side of his left and vise-versa. Then I recognized the tread pattern. I was tracking myself. So many footprints that we follow along the way, some of them our own.
I found a rear bike reflector the other day by the side of the road. I find reflectors often. They seem to jostle loose. I zip-tied it to the back of my helmet. Why not? When I was a kid (even into my early thirties) I'd take off every reflector I could thinking they were uncool. Now I've got them just about everywhere. Still there seems to be a blind spot in front of me to the sides. Cross traffic at night (especially on dark roads) doesn't seem to see me well enough. Which maybe is okay because I see them and I slow down but I want it to be better/safer than that. Reflectors only light up when there's light shining on them. And cross traffic lights aren't facing the right direction. And bike lights, even the strong ones, don't provide much lateral light that a car driver might see. A glowing helmet would be interesting. At least, a white helmet probably helps. I'm considering a helmet mounted light.