Thursday, April 20, 2006

I got skills!

the last two days have been amazing weather - almost 70, sunny and balmy breezes. Yesterday, I actually wore a tshirt, hoodie and shorts. This morning I opted for longer shorts as the breeze was a bit nippy on the bike. Still. Spring is here! I also noticed on my ride in that everything is starting to bloom - flowering shrubs and trees with blossoms. The color has been spectacular. Anyway, back to the purpose of this post. I've noticed as of late that my handling skills are pretty daggum stellar thanks to the shitty roads and Boston drivers. My commuter bike is basically a road bike with mtb handlebars. The tires are really skinny which means I have to really finesse the bike in order to successfully roll over cracks in the sidewalk, construction zones, cobblestones (yes, boston has a lot of them), bumps, potholes, filled potholes, off-camber places, curbs, trolley tracks, scores in the road from a concrete cutter that the city is using to dig up sections of the street, debris, manholes, grates (tons). So far, I've only managed to go down once when my tire wedged in the trolley track as I veering over to turn. I don't think I'll repeat that mistake. And I'm pretty savvy too when it comes to avoiding collisions with cars, buses, pedestrians, and other cyclists. I now have gathered enough knowledge by reading a pedestrian's body language and a driver's mind to predict how they will react given the weather, the time of day, the flow of traffic, the number of pedestrians on the street, construction, etc. As such, I've grown quite accustomed to stopping on a dime, weaving around a double-parked car and in front of the car who's just behind me and back over again, and calling antsy drivers assholes when I've almost crossed the street and they're nudging forward (and nervously close to me) because the light JUST turned green. When I first started commuting, it was nerve-wracking as hell because I didn't know the streets very well and wasn't used to all of the crazy traffic and pedestrians. Now, I love it. Except for those bike messengers who always catch me and leave me far far behind. Those dudes are GNARLY riders. They take fearless to another level!