bike rage

Monday afternoon biking rage: a motorcycle, and then less than five minutes later a mini cooper, decide to pass in-lane.

Tuesday morning biking rage/fear: a toyota yaris, and then less than five minutes later a minivan, decide to pass in-lane.

These were the two most harrowing bike commutes I’ve had yet, especially back-to-back bike commutes. My commute is short – 2.5 miles each way – and generally peaceful. This morning’s ride left me shaking in my saddle, heavy on my hands, and feeling panicky.

What I like about commuting by bike is not only that smug superiority when I coast past a string of stopped cars, gloating in the low traffic bike lane, but also the fact that I can feel my body’s strength. Feeling my own strength is still relatively new, but knowing that you can push your legs a little harder and go a little faster than you did yesterday is exhilarating. Strength training is helping with this, but I think I’d be getting better at biking even if biking were my only form of exercise.

I don’t know how to stop the jerks in small (or terrifyingly large) cars from passing in lane. I talked with a commuter-friend, and decided I need to move left in the lane more– make passing me riskier for them. I worry that I’m still too slow; I spend most of my commute less than 14mph still. I’m getting faster, it’s up from less than 10mph, but it’s still a lot slower than traffic here. I hope being predictable and taking the lane makes me feel safer and doesn’t irritate the drivers into riskier actions.