Last night, about two blocks from the end of my commute home, a van pulled up alongside me. The passenger side window rolled down. My heart was starting to pump: I was only two blocks from my apartment, but I was ready to pedal just about anywhere else. The light turned green and, just as I was ready to thrust my left pedal down, a man's voice rasped, "Hey, sexy. Why doesn't a beautiful lady like you use the bike lane?"
Now, that was one of the stranger things I've heard on my bike. But he's probably not the first to have asked the question, and I'm not the first cyclist to have heard it. But, if I were to meet that guy again (not that I'd want to!), I'd show him this:
It's one of those photos I wish I'd taken, but not because it would establish me as the next Eugene Atget. Rather, it shows all too clearly one of the reasons I normally don't use bike lanes.
Now, if it were only a matter of cars being parked, I could ride around them. But parked cars mean people getting in and out and, in some cases, not watching where they open doors. I learned a painful lesson in that about this time last year. At least I lived to laugh about it, once the pain subsided. Other cyclists, though, haven't been so fortunate.
The photo came from a website I just found: My Bike Lane, which is devoted entirely to bike lane violatons. In addition to photos, the license plate numbers of the most frequent offenders are posted.
Thanks to "Greg" for creating and maintaining the site.