Several years ago I had a serious automobile accident. There were no broken bones but it took a plastic surgeon an entire workday to patch me up before everything turned into one big week-long bruise.
The bruised ego took a little longer; I was now overly cautious. I used some of the insurance money to buy a great bicycle and a few more bucks to make it fit my aging form with its sore spots.
I had a conversation with another bicyclist this morning. We are both past 55 and attend the same 6:45 a.m., Wednesday Morning Men’s Meeting.
I often write about how people acquire information; Most members of any group tend to think like the group.
A few people prefer to make their own rules, group or no group. I am one of the latter.
Jerry apparently sticks to the Rules.
Our conversation had already gone through the dangers of riding in our neighborhood with its exceptionally heavy traffic and our means of arriving safely.
And now we spoke of riding at night.
Jerry: You do have headlight and tail light don’t you?
Lee: No. (I grinned sheepishly, certain that my answer would not meet with Jerry’s approval.)
Jerry: (shocked at my reply) You can’t be serious.
Why, for gosh sakes?
Lee: Night time is much safer, it seems; I ride on the right side of the street and I am in the headlights of traffic approaching from the rear, long before I can hear them ; until they pass I now have the extra advantage of seeing several blocks ahead which gives me advance warning of dangers I would never have seen with a tiny bicycle headlight.
That’s on the low traffic streets. On the high traffic streets I find that the right line of a four lane street usually has plenty of space for a bike. I wear a safety yellow jacket or a bright yellow tee-shirt.
Drivers see those things long before they’d notice a tiny tail-light.
Another reason I don’t have lights is because they cost fifty bucks apiece.
Bike riders need to focus thirty to forty feet ahead; any closer increases the risk for losing balance, especially with the disadvantages of age.
Bicycle headlights provide very little light and can increase the danger of night riding.
The tail light may be even more dangerous.
The meeting came to order and 75 men prayed for safety from our addictions.
An hour later the meeting ended and Jerry left without saying goodbye.