Yesterday I was coming into work on my morning commute and witnessed two things that, had the planets been in different allignment, would have spelled disaster.
The first was a pretty typical scene. Someone in an SUV was yakking on a cell phone and cut someone else off. Other than the extended horn blowing and dirty look, all survived the incident. The driver/communicator had the phone up to her ear and thus did not have a free hand to signal with, and also failed to look over her shoulder to see if the next lane was clear. It was pretty blatant, and unfortunately pretty common. Only the quick reaction of the other driver prevented an accident.
Just before that, though, I was coming across a short stretch of the Camp Hill Bypass, which is a 4 lane divided highway zoned at 55mph coming up to the Harvey Taylor Bridge, when I passed a guy on a recumbent, similar to this:
The only difference being that he had an orange “golf flag” extending about five feet on the rear of the bike. The problem was that it’s not enough. I’ve passed him three days in a row now, and he is riding on the white line, if not just outside of it. Yesterday, the car in front of me did not notice him until it was almost on top of him, and then swerved slightly to give him a little room. This guy needs to either find a different route to get to the bridge, ride over on the berm more, and definitely needs to get a warning triangle or some other form of increased visibility. Had the driver been “communicating” like the other incident, I fear his nice compact recumbent would be a little more compact than intended.
I like the idea of sharing the road, and being a rider I always give other riders a wide berth if I’m in the car, but this fellow is pushing his luck. I hope he gets a little scared, and a lot smarter.