Posts Tagged ‘danger’

People are trying to kill me- the dangers of cycling in Los Angeles

May 30, 2008

For real.

I was riding my Dahon Speed Folding Bicycle to work like I do every day. I don’t take the sidewalks, which are actually much more dangerous for the cyclist, pedestrians, and motorists who watch the road. Plus, the law dictates that I ride on the street. As gas prices rise, American motorists need to become familiar with dealing with cyclists. They also need to lean to love public transportation.

Today, riding to work, was uneventful. I’d passed through the most dangerous part of my journey, where I merge across three lanes and sit in a left turn lane until the light changes. I passed through the light, and this time no cars were behind me. I continued down the road as semi trucks and other large trucks file down the oncoming lane. It’s quite a rush to ride next to the loud, low, tremble of their giant engines and enormous girth. I am well aware that any collision with them (or any other car) would likely end in serious to fatal injury.

HALF A BLOCK before I turn into my place of work, I was frightened by a loud and constant HORN blaring from a car tailgating TEN FEET behind me. This is a terrifying experience for a cyclist. It would be very easy for me to panic and fall in front of her tires. I wave a ‘hold on’ signal to the irate motorist, continue until the parked cars give way, and merge into the should per the norm.

A young platinum blonde in a white BMW shoots me a dirty look, swerves slightly toward me, and guns it, speeding away… and then immediately turning into a parking lot.

I decided to follow her in.

I stayed 20 feet away from her car, on my bicycle, and consciously made an effort not to yell or appear threatening. She saw me and decided to take FOREVER fiddling with her purse, hoping I’d go away. My adrenaline is pumping.

She gathered her strength and got out of her car.

Click below to read the exchange: