HERE I AM GETTING LOST on my bike, as observed from a United States Department of Defense Global Positioning Satellite in orbit more than 10,000 miles above the surface of the earth. This is such a Peyton Place; you can’t do anything around here without somebody getting all up in your stuff.
I started cycling again about six months ago, for the first time since, I don’t know, high school maybe. And whenever I tell someone I ride a bike on the streets of Dallas, they get this half-wincing smile, as if I’d just said the meth lab’s doing great and my realtor and I are about to close on a new location. They’re apparently thinking, what can you say to a guy like this, he’s determined to kill himself.
But the truth is, the very thing that makes friends and family fear for my life is exactly what makes cycling in Dallas relatively safe. I said relatively.
Dallas drivers are indeed rushing everywhere. Latte’d to the hilt. Late for work. Late for crossfit. Late for childcare. The thing is, they know they don’t have time for all the paperwork they’d have to deal with should they kill me.
Sure, I’ve taken my tumbles. Once I went down smack-dab in the middle of an intersection as a car turned in front of me on a Downtown Saturday Night. And once I did a faceplant into the curb in a city park. Both times my pride was the most wounded part of me.
But I get a wide berth from Dallas drivers. It helps that I strap flashing red lights all over if it’s just so much as cloudy out. And I ride like I’m supposed to be there. I own the lane because cars will be tempted to squeeze by if I ride to close to the curb.
So come on. It’s not so bad out there. We need more cyclists on the street. So I can start complaining about how the bike lanes are so crowded and there’s no place left to lock up.