Skip to main content

The Lent Project: Day 35

Happy Spring!

Of course, it doesn't feel like it in Chicago...last year at this time it was 85 degrees in the middle of a heat wave. Current temperature is 24 and it may--I said MAY--get to freezing later this afternoon.

I feel like I should have something important to write about because this marks my 300th post on the blog. Quickly approaching 12,000 pageviews, too! But I have absolutely nothing to say today, really. The children yesterday evening and this morning have been behaving like wild beasts tearing apart a kill. I have been a little ill for a few days and have skipped a couple workouts that I'm slightly disappointed about. But I still have almost 3 months until race day so missing one bike and one swim isn't going to hurt me too much.

I did want to share this graphic from a new Los Angeles ad campaign advising drivers that cyclists are entitled to use the full lane under certain conditions and to be on the lookout. Much appreciated. 

I'm a fan of bicycling infrastructure though I end up doing a lot of my shorter rides in residential areas with a mix of light commercial areas mixed in. So I'm often just on regular streets and this kind of heads up to drivers is nice to see. Our village recently had a vote on one non-bike route that is frequently used by cyclists...part of the street at the east end of town is marked as Shared Lane but the rest is not. My letter in favor of continuing the Shared Lane markings included two specific sets of curves where I have decided that staying to the curb as a cyclist is just too dangerous because cars think they have enough room to squeeze by but they do not. I've started "taking the lane" anyway and would love to see signs making drivers aware of the lack of space to pass. 

We're not always great here in Chicago--but getting better--about moving the bike shields on the pavement or clearly marking the bike lane shifts. You sometimes see "bikes may use full lane" but I think this gives drivers the wrong impression that the rest of the time bikes must be to the right. This isn't always the case...depending on the laws in your state, there are probably a variety of road hazards, conditions, and safety issues that allow cyclists--or even mandate--that cyclists be in the regular flow of traffic. 

The hot button topic in Chicago is queueing. Do cyclists have to line up at a traffic light like the rest of traffic or can we slip past on the right to the head of the line? The law is mixed...including what happens if you get "doored." Technically, you should line up with the cars...but most people on a bike would say that defeats the purpose of biking. I admit to doing both depending on the safety. If there is room, fine. But there is one particular intersection where I find it's better in my area to wait with the cars and not give them a temptation to squeeze by when the road narrows on the other side of the intersection. 

This is also why for my longer rides and tend to like finding a trail.