April 8, 2010

Not going to let ‘em catch the midnight rider

By Elisa | 6 Comments »

Last night after work the air was cool and balmy and I was wide awake (oops on drinking coffee at 8pm), so I decided to go for a late night ride.  A friend is cooking a recipe that requires Cilantro, so I thought that a quick ride to Jones Valley to pick some up for her was in order.

It was so lovely.  Downtown Birmingham goes to sleep early, so the roads were peaceful and the lights stunning.  Wind was blowing and I could smell the springtime in the air, with the storm that hit us brewing above.

the city at night (forgive the lo-fi iPhone photos!)

One thing that could have ruined it was when a car came screaming through a red light at an intersection I was riding through.  Thankfully this has been happening a lot (perhaps my helmet is also an invisibility cloak as this has literally happened 4 times in 3 weeks!), so I am super cautious when crossing green lights.  The car and I screeched to a halt with me yelling “Hey!” and shaking my head.  The driver would not even make eye contact with me.  I was shaking and frustrated for about 2 blocks until I passed over the viaduct and heard the trains running underneath.  Birmingham may suck for cyclists and drivers may be morons, but no one can take away the joy of riding my bike!

I retrieved the Cilantro, rode home and then joined some friends for some porch time.  Today has been rainy and gross, but the pollen is being washed away and the heat abating.  Spring!

Night time at the farm

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  1. On April 8th, 2010 Steve A said:

    Out of curiosity, why are drivers running red lights something to be thankful for? My own motorists do not do such things unless totally blottoed. Evening IS the time such things are most likely to happen. Predawn seems to be much more logical.

  2. On April 8th, 2010 Elisa said:

    Steve-I was joking about being thankful. :) The only reason I was thankful is that because it has happened so much I am now hyper aware and look both ways and stop even at green lights. I am not sure why this phenomenon has been happening to me, or why drivers continue to run red lights. It has been during the day, early morning and night time. Bizarre and troublesome.

  3. On April 9th, 2010 Jenn said:

    I wonder if you could report the offenders if you get a plate number? Just a thought. Be careful out there. But, as you said…don’t let ‘em take away your bliss!

  4. On April 9th, 2010 Matt said:

    The night time is the right time for stress free cycling.
    Seriously, lower temperatures, UV index of zero (it gets to 12 here during Summer days), no traffic, and no crazy pedestrians. Sometimes I can do a 15 mile ride without ever using my brakes or competing for road space. The same ride during the day has me ringing my bell, pulling levers, skid stopping, getting yelled at, yelling, avoiding doors, sweating away “precious bodily fluids,” and having aneurysms from the sun stroke. Plus, headlights at night make it easier to see if cars are coming while approaching intersections.

  5. On April 12th, 2010 Dotte said:

    I love riding in the city at night when everything quiets down. Sorry to hear about the red light runner. It sucks that we have to be paranoid while going through green lights, but the vigilance pays off when we expect and can avoid crap like that.

  6. On April 24th, 2010 David said:

    the red light runners are a problem, i see at least one a day, especially in the southeast part of downtown (from 20th to the lakeview area). I’m even paranoid in my car and have started slowing down to go through any green light in the area. fyi- The city council is considering cameras.

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