It's finally winter here in the wonderland of it all, and the subject of my commuting keeps coming up.
Non-cyclists have this enormous fear and misunderstanding that we are out there elbow to elbow with buses and cars on icy city streets. It gets hard to explain that I ride the streets that are off the main drag, or go the opposite direction of major commuting stream. In the morning I ride right down the busiest street in the county. It's the one that every town has, where you will find a couple shopping malls and every big box store and fast food franchise on the planet. What people don't realize is that while I travel, those businesses are closed and their massive parking lots are well lit and deserted. Even for the few blocks that I must use the streets, the majority of traffic is going the opposite direction so I have the street to myself, and, if need be, I use the traffic signals to clear the streets for me. I wait at a parking lot until the previous signal stops traffic
leaving me with all four lanes virtually to myself.
In the afternoon the same street looks like this.
The typical grand prix of consumerism,
with curb to curb frenetic racing to get from store to store to freeway exit.
That is when it is best to find a side street
or an MUP a few blocks out of the way.