I'm as dedicated a transportation cyclist as I think you'll find. But every now and then, something happens that makes me wonder if I should hang it up. Like today.
I was stopped at a red light. 4:15 or so in the afternoon. Sunny day; perfect visibility.
On the other side of the intersection, waiting for the same green light, was a lady in (of all vehicles) the undisputed champion of private motor transportation, a behemoth white Ford Excursion. All by herself, far as I could tell.
The light turned green. I started across.
She started, too... but as it happens, she was turning left. Never a signal of her intentions. Right into my path, just as I was in her path.
I started hollering at the top of my lungs and waving one arm about frantically. Usually people are conscious enough that they'll notice what's directly in front of them. But not this absent-minded broad. Her brain might as well have been at the mall, or that soccer field she was headed for, or whatever.
The main thought I had was that if she hit me, she would roll right over me before being able to stop.
I must have gotten a sudden micro-burst of adrenalin; by some miracle I made it around that huge, hulking grille that was bearing down on me. It was as close as I've ever been to an impact, without it happening.
Frankly, I'm not sure what I was screaming, there toward the end. I believe it included "Stupid Idiot!" Some would say that's redundant. Now that I have more time to think it over, I can come up with at least a half-dozen more adjectives I would like to include.
She appeared to have had a weird slug-like delayed reaction. She looked over her shoulder; perhaps she realized what just about happened. It would be very comforting to know she was aware, and as shaken up as I was. And that she understands how critical it is for her to responsibly manage that 6000-pound lethal missile she controls.
Her husband probably bought her an Excursion so that if she's in an accident, she's less likely to get hurt.
I felt fortunate to ride away. Still a little shaky.