Friday, July 01, 2005

Increasing the distance

I began bike commuting to work back in January or so of 05. My first couple of rides were from Taunton High School, which is around 6 miles. After only a couple of days I realized six miles was not enough and increased the ride to nine miles. A detour around the main roads adds a mile + for the morning rides, but I still do the nine on the return trip after work.
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The Reed and Barton Silver Plant, Taunton Ma.

Today I added another three on each end, by leaving my car an exit earlier off the highway. Home is almost 40 miles from work. A bike commute can be done, but it's not realistic. The additional three miles is on County Road, beginning at the Dunkin Donut shop in Freetown, taking travelers to the Galleria Mall in Taunton, Ma. I only saw one vehicle during that stretch which very much eased my anxiety about making that road a regular.

On a section of the ride, after crossing over the always backed up Rt. 24 headded to Boston, I was aware of a auto approaching behind me. The tell-tall engine sound made me aware the car was slowing to either pass or make a right turn. Sure enough the driver's intent was taking a right. Just at the moment "she" came along side of me. Fortunately I was also taking that turn, otherwise if I road straight, I would have been road kill. We took the turn together with me close enough to be a passenger in her car.

On the return ride after work, crossing the overpass near the mall, I encountered the "good" she. A woman wanting to make a right turn onto the highway slowed to let me continue on past the exit. Once past her entry point, I now had to watch for vehicles exiting the highway on my right. Being a three lane road, I took the middle, left the right lane for merging traffic and the left for vehicles going my way.

BEEP, BEEP, BEEP, BEEP, I heard over my left shoulder. A car in the passing lane was upset I was taking a lane for myself and yelled for me to move over. I lost it and told him F you. We met again at the lights a bit down the road and gave each other a look. Did I mention I look like a cop wiht my attire and bike color? Probably not, but the look has more than likely discouraged at least a couple of confrontations. I almost apologized to the driver at the light for being like him, but that would have gotten me nowhere.

I need to excercise more control when I encounter these people. Not react at all to them. That way they have no idea if they won the encounter or not and would probably piss them off even more.

Working the holiday weekend, again. Looks good for a long 15 mile commute to the office on Sunday.


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