Friday, March 23, 2007

Self-diagnosis: orthostatic hypotension

Wikipedia: Orthostatic hypotension. Treatment: eat more salt and drink strong coffee. F**kin-A, sign me up.

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Tuesday, March 20, 2007


I made excellent time on the way to work this morning. Roughly 15 to 20 percent shaved off the commute minutes. I think there must have been a pretty good wind pushing me along. Environment Canada says WNW 28km/h right now, which is not that huge. The real difference is that the wind is more often NE or E in the morning. I really felt like I was flying along without that usual headwind.

There isn't much of a chance that the wind will switch around to be from the W in the evening, though.

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Thursday, March 15, 2007

A good way to get yourself killed

I was just leaving work yesterday, exiting the parking garage and waiting to turn right onto Central Blvd. I always turn into the left-hand lane because it becomes the through lane after a few blocks. All of the cars in the right-hand lane are going to turn right. It is much easier to ride in the left lane because it is difficult to change lanes on Central, especially if you are on a bicycle. People just don't like to let a bicycle in.

So, just as I turn onto Central, I hear from behind me That's a good way to get yourself killed! It was the driver of a car that was following me out of the parking garage. Of course my hackles immediately go up and I'm preparing to defend my right to exist. But I'm feeling reasonable so I respond quite simply with What do you mean? Summary of our conversation, which spanned two red-light waits at two intersections:

Him: Riding in that lane there, it's a good way to get yourself killed.

Me: Well, I ride here because it's hard to change lanes later. I've tried riding in the lane you're in and it's more dangerous.

H: I just think it's dangerous and you're going to get yourself killed.

M: Well, where should I ride then?

H: I'd prefer if you were over on that sidewalk.

M: (speechless, getting ready to defend my right to ride on the road)

H: Don't get me wrong, I'm just saying I think it's really dangerous.

M: Well, I'm going to keep riding, and riding safe.

Next Intersection:

H: You're still alive, eh?

M: Yep, still fine.

H: Don't get me wrong, I'm just saying, everyone I know who has ridden a bike has been hit by a car within two years. Drivers can't see you! Nobody can see you!

M: I know about the obliviousness problem. Believe me. I've been run into by cars before.

H: OK. I'm just saying, it's dangerous.

M: Uh, thanks.

H: Well, I'm glad we were able to talk!

M: Yes, me too. See you later.

Light goes green.

It was actually a pretty friendly conversation. Quite funny because we talked at two different intersections, side by side, waiting for the traffic light to change. I was expecting to be told to get off the road!! but the guy was apparently just concerned for my safety.

Here's what I think he was really saying, between the lines:

  • I've done my best. I tried to warn this cyclist about riding in the street. The next time I see a cyclist get hit I'll shake my head ruefully and think I told you so.
  • I don't ride a bike because I'm scared to ride it in traffic.
I am going to continue to ride in traffic. I don't think it's very dangerous. It's true that you have to pay attention and leave a large margin for motorist error. The few times I've had collisions or near-collisions were when I assumed that a driver would follow the rules of the road or act reasonably (tip: never assume that).

People will just have to get used to seeing me and other cyclists in the street. We're not going anywhere.

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Thursday, March 08, 2007

Amazon Recommends

Dear Customer, We've noticed that customers who have expressed interest in "Blade Wars - Blades Of Summer Canada Cup '87 Highlights" have also ordered "The Secret (Extended Edition)" on DVD. For this reason, you might like to know that "The Secret (Extended Edition)" is now available on DVD. You can order your copy at a savings of 23% by following the link below.
A strange connection, there. I think it might just be that The Secret is a fast-growing cult that is engulfing the entire continent. I had never heard of The Secret before recently reading this Salon article: Oprah's ugly secret. Oprah is evil. Apparently she sabotages guests as well. It's worse than scientology.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

A vague recollection

About half-way to work today I stopped and took off my jacket. I rode the rest of the way in a T-shirt. After months of clouds, rain, wind, and low temperatures, it was really great to have the sun on my arms. Temperature: +12C.

It's going to start raining this afternoon, though. And it is not predicted to stop until sometime beyond the horizon of the 5 day forecast.

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