TL;DR: Taking my morning selfies today was tough. I am still recovering from the adrenaline rush and drop from what happened last night on my commute home. If the events of last night were just a few seconds later, I would have been severely injured or possibly dead. I also think learning how to ride a motorcycle and doing a basic rider course over the weekend also possibly saved my life – it managed to break some bad cycling habits.
To set up the play by play – I am on my road bike with my rear light on flash mode, my front be seen light on flash mode, and my main headlight at the 300 lumen (medium) setting. This is typically how I have my lights setup for night riding. Also, this is over the course of 7 seconds (if that).
At the red light at Oak and Stanyan stopped waiting for it to change. I notice there is another cyclist approaching behind me and is probably going to shoal so I get ready to just take off.
I take off and somehow this guy doesn’t shoal and start the ramp up on that little downhill leading into JFK drive. At this point I continue my sprint downhill and I am in my typical position of being in the left part of the bike lane.
Reach about 20mph and I notice a Prius starts to barely pass me, slows down, and then turns on it’s signal right hand turn signal.
I see the right wheel turn, and I go OH FUCK they are going into the Park and Rec office parking lot. At this point, they are only a car length or two ahead of me.
They keep going without yielding and I scrub off some speed and swerve around them. I managed to scrub off from 22mph -> 17mph in that one second according to the GPS data.
Then I quickly look over and there is traffic trying to get back in the JFK Dr lane since they were passing the Prius and I go oh fuck time to get back in the bike lane.
Here is where I curse the SF and the SFBC – the out I wanted to go is blocked by those flexible barriers in the stripped zone between the bike lane and car lane. If I hit one of those at the angle I was going to hit them at, I was likely to get one in to a spoke and do something bad.
Swerve again and now I am on the path to hit the curb.
Something just tells me look down the path I want to go, so I do and everything just follows and I get parallel to the curb with plenty of space to spare (in this case, I had about a foot in the end)
Now I have the next obstacle, there is a fucking runner in the bike lane running right at me – at least at this point things are stabilized that things are back to normal and that was more of a gripe than an near death experience.
Every time I closed my eyes last night – the events replayed in my mind with different scenarios that would have ended in a bad crash. If that car was just a second or two later, I would have had no other choice but to emergency brake and end up in the door of a Prius.
Somehow throughout this, my upper body stayed loose and never tensed up. The other part was, before this weekend, I didn’t move my head as much on my bicycle. I used mostly my eyes to steer. Now, my head is pointing where I want to go and I am keeping it up more. In fact the only time during my commute the last two days where it stayed pointed down for any real length of time was is on the uphill of a KOM attempt on an overpass segment in Mountain View – and that was because I needed to watch my power output closely.
I really think spending 10 hours on those under powered motorcycles in a parking lot put some new muscle memory into me and may have just saved my ass.
I am really starting to believe from my biker friends that road cycling is way more dangerous than being on a motorcycle. At least if I had my motorcycle gear on, there would have been way more to protect me if I did have to hit the car. Still would fucking hurt.
Well I need to get stuff packed for DNA this weekend. If anyone I know will be in Vegas over the next few days, say woof.
It is amazing how quick 2016 flew by. In a way, I can’t believe is 2017 now. Last year I started off with this selfie.
Over the year, somehow I became a huge selfie whore and kept on improving my technique. Sometime over the summer I realized, my primary camera has a decent WiFi remote control app and realized I could take better post run selfies at home, and I did. Before I knew it, I ended up with this morning ritual where I would workout and take a selfie.
In many ways, I am looking forward to 2017. We are going to have a challenging year for sure, but I have set personal goals to resolve ambitions that I have always back burnered. I hope everyone else will have a good 2017.
We don’t know what exactly what will happen yet. Congress holds a lot of power and there are enough rifts that maybe the Republicans in congress will come to their senses and block some this madness. Maybe the reaction we are having is over blown. I want to believe that things are not going to be as bad as I fear. I want to have hope, but it is so dark outside.
Regardless of what may happen – we need to prepare to fight.
For the first time ever in my life, I am worried about my personal safety and right to exist as an openly gay American even in a city like SF. I feel like it is time to prepare for this four year long battle.
The photo below is from the Kemang Wa Lehulere: In All My Wildest Dreams art exhibation at the Art Institute of Chicago. When I took this photo of the shattered dogs installed as part of the exhibition, I never thought this is how I would feel merely 12 hours after.
I did not have a good weekend – and mine wasn’t due to how people were acting or anything social. I had some medication changes over the last month. One of the side effects has been that my body has become less gradual on reactions.
Before this weekend, the only one I have noticed is that I can’t handle alcohol anymore. I go from sober to drunk in no time flat. On Saturday, this happened for the third time in the month, and I spent pretty much from 5pm till Sunday morning trying to get normal. For the most part, I was more or less feeling normal on Sunday morning for setup.
But it looks like there is a new reaction as well – I can’t handle the heat anymore.
Despite drinking lots of water Saturday and Sunday morning – the heat still took me out on Folsom Sunday. At the event I was counting how much water and Gatorade I was drinking. When I went out to my car the first time to just sit down in AC, I was up to 5L of water consumed and few bottles of Gatorade – on top of everything else I had before going to the Folsom Street Fair. I was keeping about 1L/Hour of fluid intake yesterday. But on the way to my car, I nearly passed out. After sitting for 45 minutes with the AC on max, I felt better and went back – I was so glad that I drove down and got a parking space on 10th and Howard right by the gate.
Real quick, I started going downhill again and had to leave at 5 before I could help for breakdown.
Now it’s 11am the Monday after and I am now only feeling more or less normal again. It’s already 75 degrees in my office, and 80 up in the living room. I am going to try and stay cool and take care of all of the photos that are in my backlog on my recovery day off from work.
Yesterday during lunch, the Olympics were on TV while we were eating. The men’s steeplechase qualifiers was on. If you have never watched it, you can’t help but giggle when they jump over the hurdle and into water. It’s almost like a horse race, and we joked about it. As we kept on going one of my co workers was still confused by the whole event. To paraphrase: