Friday, June 12, 2009

Zen and idiots

Here's the new rule. Ride to work at least once a week.

Beautiful morning, temperature in the mid 50's in Chicago. With little time for riding in my current circumstances, I will need to commit myself to ride to work once a week. Today was a perfect day to ride. I-57 is a breeze going in or on the return trip. Traffic is fairly spaced out with an average speed of 65-70. I know the speed limit is 55, but that is the pace set by traffic. Once I-57 merges with I-94 (The Dan Ryan) is slows to real rush hour traffic. Even so, this morning I only had to plant my feet twice on the rode. The traffic pattern of the Dan Ryan including adding a lane and the new surface eases some of the congestion. Just a ridership of the Metra has thinned a little, I have to believe some of the cars on the Dan Ryan has thinned as well as a result of unemployment.

It wasn't until I got on the Dan Ryan that my Zen of riding was disturbed. Once on the Dan Ryan, cars are jumping from lane to lane to get one or one cars closer to work. This behavior means consistently getting cut off. Okay I am a little used to that. However once per trip and cager moves over into my lane without checking mirror and ignores my presence. The short peep of the horn is my only recourse to make me feel better as the cager usually forces themselves into my lane and I back off. I know I can't win. Unfortunately I get mentally sucked in for the next five minutes thinking of bad ways to react. Riding along side the car and giving it a kick, flipping them the finger, carrying steel ball bearings to through as the car, etc.... Of course I won't end up doing this as it will have no effect and could produce road rage with a cager. As before, the horn is my only way to vent. If I could only get back to enjoying the ride as quickly as the cager who cuts me off forgets about me. I will work on it.

It was good to ride to work today. Enough said.

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Charlie6 said...
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Charlie6 said...

I've been in the same situation. Fought the same demons about venting the adrenaline-fueled rage back towards the idiot who just tried to kill me.

Then I try and remember: I am invisible to cagers, they drive distracted and unknowing. That's why I must ride where they can maybe see me, expect them to try and kill me and keep my finger near the horn but am prepared to evade.

It's part of motorcycling, not to say I've never reacted before, I just try not to escalate things anymore since a motorcyle will always lose to a car in a collision.

That and I take great satisfaction when I successfully "see" a danger coming and take action accordingly; as opposed to reacting to the danger.

Sojourner rides said...

It is so easy to get sucked in the mentality of highway traffic's bad behavior but those are, as you did, the very things we must resist.

Yoga beathing...and move on.

As riders we deal with enough risk and don't need to interact with potentially dangerous drivers any more than we need to.

Rob said...

I hate Cagers but then I think that once long ago I was a Gager. The thought that there is still hope for those lost souls cures me of my negative vibe.

Lance said...

Jeffry, great post. I had my first official "bike to work day" -not on Monday, but the Friday before. To be honest, it was pretty stressful, being the first time I had logged significant time on the freeway (I-90, for 30 of my 40 mile one way commute). No Zen for me either.

Doug C said...

Well, Doctor, I know that these angry thoughts are bad thoughts and that I should not entertain them, but sometimes I can't help myself. However, I will do my best to think happy, positive thoughts towards those that try to run me over. I promise.

So just out of curiousity, how much force does it take to kick a dent into the side of a Lexus??

Singnals3 said...

this is nice article and I have know positive thoughts towards those that try to run.

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