Bike to Work Week: Wednesday Morning

I almost got killed this morning (how’s that for dramatic tension?).

I was caught off-guard with a mind wandering…this time trying to figure out which was worse for Al Green’s career: the recent Corinne Rae Bailey and John Legend duets or his cameo in that what-the-hell-were-they-thinking Lance Bass romantic comedy vehicle, “On The Line” (2001).

I had just climbed the hill at the beginning of Old Sauk, so I wasn’t thinking clearly (of course it was cameo!).

I came to a stop at the light at the next 4-way intersection.  When the light changed for the intersecting road, I jumped the gun and began to cross, thinking I would then have the green next. I don’t know why I assumed this. I have no idea how traffic lights work.

Instead, the oncoming traffic had a green arrow. So as I was crossing, a big van came right at me. No horn or any slowing down. I just had to move my ass or die.

Now, I’m all about how the proximity to/awareness of death vitalizes life. I remember the thrill and the almost dying after falling off a white-water raft and coming up directly underneath that raft amid class IV rapids and jagged rocks in the New River of West Virginia.

But after this, I didn’t feel thrilled or any added value to life. Completely non-plussed. Just tired. And thinking about getting to work. 

And then I almost get hit again by a guy inexplicably swerving into the bike lane.

And then I start thinking about it and I realize I almost get killed like 6 times a day on the road and it barely registers with me anymore.

Have I become desensitized to my own mortality? Or maybe I’m just bored with the prospect of this kind of bike-related death. I need to keep imagining new and interesting ways to die to keep me sharp and law-abiding.  

That’s not good at all. Maybe I shouldn’t be doing this. How sad a fate to have Lance Bass in my final thoughts.



  1. Once on my bike I was swung at by a passenger in a car going 40 mph. That guy aside, most of the motorized menace to bikers is, I think, unintentional criminal negligence rather than active criminal behavior.

    Still, it’s not a safe world out there, even in Madison.

    You’ve raised the stakes, my friend! Never did I think when I began reading this week that you might not live til Friday. I’m hooked now!

  2. Unintentional, huh? Wasn’t that final scene in “Easy Rider”…where Peter Fonda’s Capt. America gets blown away by the close-minded townies in the pick-up…wasn’t that set in your adopted hometown of Cincinatti [sic]?

    I don’t recall it too clearly, but I’m pretty sure I saw Paul Brown Stadium in the background and weren’t the townies on a Skyline run for a half-dozen 3-ways?

    So however much I denigrate Madison, and accept the fact that I’ll probably be crushed by a latte-sipper in a Volvo, I at least appreciate that they’re not gunning for me. Like they would be in Southern Ohio.

    Go Browns.

    Or whatever.

  3. […] Almost getting killed six times. […]

  4. […] I guess. But blog-wise, I’m also confronted by the twin challenges of satisfyingly bringing my biking adventure to a close and saying something…anything…about that Lynard Skynard greatest hits album I […]

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