Drawing by Wilson
Back in my sports radio listening days the renowned commentator Tony Kornheiser used to sign his show off with “If your’e out on your bike tonight, do wear white”. Initially it struck me as a peculiar way to end a sports show. As time passed however, I began to really appreciate what I thought was a solid and unique public service announcement. Later I heard that it was more a tribute to the Rolling Stones tune “Something Happened To Me Yesterday”.
Blah, blah blah…..who cares. I’ve been observing bike riders during dusk, early and full evening for years now. I must continue to pass the advice on. If you are out on your bike tonight, do wear white. It makes a shocking difference in your visibility to drivers. Bike reflectors do not get the job done. It’s stunning how often I see people young and not young zipping around the neighborhood in black T-shirts and dark shorts. They appear from nowhere. Drivers cannot see you until they are figuratively on top of you. An easy way to keep that statement from going literal would be to throw on a white T-shirt before you head out on your high wheel. Give yourself a fighting chance.
Dedicated to Philando.
Fear is not an excuse for murder.
24. Thrive. You live in a big city! It’s wonderful and it’s crowded. Take advantage of what downtown has to offer on weeknights. Beach on a Tuesday after work? Yep. You’ll have it all to yourself. Free concert downtown on Thursday night? Sure. Only locals are out. Dinner on a Wednesday night in River North? Do it. It’s gonna be swarming with people in three days.
23. Drive. All merges are zipper merges. Think about that phrase “zipper merge” and act accordingly. One car from the left. One car from the right. Do not deviate. Left, right, left, right. Whether you are entering the expressway, merging from 2 lanes into 1, or being redirected by construction, do it. It will speed everything up.
Let people merge in front of you. It won’t ruin your life.
22. Drive. My wife mentioned the other day that my recent blog entries have drifted away from my supposed main theme of city driving. Fine. You want driving? I’ll give you driving.
If you’re on the expressway, or anywhere for that matter and traffic ahead comes to an unexpected screeching halt, after safely breaking, immediately throw on your hazard lights to warn the vehicle rushing up behind you. It makes a difference and may help you avoid getting rear ended. I’ve been the hazard flasher and the flashee and it’s saved me in both instances several times.
Love depressing that little triangular button on your center console? Then why not use it to warn the tailgater behind you that you’re about to parallel park. Some drivers simply stop abruptly and throw it in reverse. Others throw on a quick turn signal to halt the driver behind them to allow enough room to reverse and park. It’s often not enough time on crowded city streets. The driver in your wake is too close. And the driver behind them is too close. Getting the whole chain to reverse is near impossible and you have to abandon your potential parking space.
Throw on the hazards the second you find an upcoming space. It will warn the driver behind you that there’s something out of the ordinary going on ahead. If you’re lucky she’ll leave you a little room.