Wednesday, April 11, 2012

One of my scary monsters

I was reminded again on the way home tonight, a little after 9:00 pm, of why I took this picture a couple of days ago:

Drivers, imagine that you're me. You're headed uphill, which naturally makes you feel that your steering finesse is just that little bit impaired. You've just come through an intersection where the little island at the corner is a little too far into the street, so it's crushed you out into traffic in a really unnerving way. And let's say it's dark out, so you have to take it on faith that your taillight is working, and visible. Just as the road narrows from the right-turn lane, as you're cranking up the hill (maybe you stood on the pedals, making you a bit more precarious but giving you power) you are faced with this brutal bit of broken pavement. (Oh, yes, and the one beyond it, just visible in this shot.) And coming up behind you, you can hear, distinctly, are two vehicles, side by side, accelerating away from the intersection up the hill.

Yes, I can hear that you're side by side, and I can hear that you're both SUVs. It's amazing what a cyclist is capable of hearing. What I can't hear is how much room you're going to give me. And what I know is that if I swerve out to avoid this cluster of potholes and tire-bending nastiness, I'm swinging into a small space made even smaller by the fact that you can't swerve left either, because you're cruising along cheek by jowl with the vehicle next to you.

So this isn't a post about potholes, so much as it is a post about why they suck so much.