Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Evading Enforced Squishiness

This morning I split lanes on the freeway for the first time. It wasn't impatience, or a desire to go fast that inspired me to dart between the cars in front of me.

It was a desire to avoid become the jam in a car sandwich.

As I've mentioned previously, there's some gnarly road construction going on along my route to work. Traffic in this particular stretch is bad anyway, and now it's extra exciting.

So I was puttering along in tightly packed traffic, and things sped up a bit. I, naturally, also sped up. Then the car ahead of me slammed on its brakes. So I also applied maximum braking to avoid giving that car a Triumph enema. And then I heard something no biker ever wants to hear: squealing tires getting louder behind me.

I did not check my mirrors. I did not check my blind spots.

I did let go of the brakes and accelerate between the yellow Jeep and white whatever-it-was which were still braking. Instinct told me I didn't have to be faster than the bear, just faster than the others also running from it.

I felt kind of bad cutting around the Jeep, but mostly relieved I didn't get smooshed. I didn't hear a crash, so I assume the skidder got himself under control again.

Needless to say, the adrenaline rush didn't make it easy to maintain a reasonable pace on my way in to work.

So, since I've now had two close calls along that same stupid stretch of road I'm going to go ahead and start using a different route in the morning. Seems prudent.