I'm typing this just after placing my road bicycle up on its ceiling hook for what might be a very long time.
Yesterday, riding down Isleta in a sudden downpour, somebody in a Chevy Van pulled out onto the meager bike lane right in front of me. I was lucky, nobody was right behind me, and I had room to swerve, make a loud suggestion to the van's driver regarding sexual matters, and ride on through the deluge.
Other cyclists haven't been so lucky. (Journal ad haters can see the Trib story here) The BikeABQ YahooGroup has been the scene of much discussion regarding the death of James Quinn, and I've read the many postings with a combination of admiration for the argumentative powers of the commenters and resignation. I think I'm pretty much resigned at this point that cyclists will continue to be powerless and/or invisible when it comes to the almighty automobile, and that we're just fooling ourselves with talk of "critical mass", etc.
Or maybe it's just that death or serious injury to change that reality doesn't appeal to me anymore. At least not right now.
So the bike is up on the ceiling hook, unsettlingly dangling like a body. I'm going back to Commuting Plan #43: walk, shuttle, Rail Runner, walk. It'll take longer, and I'll dearly miss the bunnies and roadrunners along the Bosque bike trail in the early morning, but even the cuddliest animal isn't worth dealing with homo sapiens erratically operating multi-ton missiles. At least not right now.
P.S.: I admit that I'm being a wimp here, and should continue the fight through my defiant presence along the road. I also admit that I waver on the issue far too much, as can be noted in an earlier post on the subject this last February.
P.P.S.: Anybody wanna buy a pretty darn nice Colnago Italian steel road bike? I think I'm on the market for a serious mountain bike...as in never touching pavement, ever. I think I'd rather hit a rock than a Chevy Van.