Dust in one's eyes hurts, therefore blinding the rider and causing a crash or endangering others. There that's it. Wear sunglasses.
Yesterday was extremely windy which created dust swirls exactly where I was riding. (Hence, importance of sunglasses.) Beyond my normal commute to work (a little over 6 miles total) I decided to ride down to 494 and Lyndale Avenue. I am in a wedding in September and needed to try-on and buy my dress. I could either A. go to David's Bridal off 394 (a mess for cyclists) or B. go to David's Bridal off 494 (the lesser of the two evils). Here goes my plan B...
I left home around 3:20pm and decided to take Irving to 36th, from there I jumped on Calhoun and half way around Harriet. I wasn't quite sure where to pick up Penn Ave, but I knew I would have to climb some stairs since the bike and walking paths are at water level and the streets are on higher ground. I randomly picked a set of stairs, and I was one block off. This posed a greater challenge since the cars were headed East and me with my bike wanted to go one block West on the wrong one way.
When I finally made it to Penn, of course I ran into construction. For bikers, this means random large chunks of gravel and concrete. Oh, and did I mention devastating pot holes? This begins my journey into the land of suburbia... oh joy.
Penn Avenue was a nightmare. I am not familiar with the "back-streets" since this is not my daily commute, and I knew I did not want to take Lyndale all the way, so I gripped on tight to my handlebars and rode. Did I mention the WIND, coming from the SOUTH with gusts up to 35 MPH??? I wasn't about to kill myself for this ride, so I probably averaged 11 mph or so the whole way.
Irony.... Right in front of Penn Cycle on Penn Avenue a plastic garbage can decided to fall about a foot in front of me. My tire went into the can and the back of my bike flew out behind me into traffic, then the top flap flew up with another wind gust and hit me in the face. That sucked. I have bruises and scratch marks from my pedals to prove it. I just thought it was strange that it happened right in front of a bike shop. Luckily, I decided to wear my helmet.
I finally got to David's Bridal at 4:15. Not bad! I even got to visit Ben at work in his new "office space". He he.
People in their land of suburbia act like they have never seen a cyclist before. That people only get on their bike for recreational purposes on paved trails made just for that purpose. It's funny when you have cars literally almost clipping your shoulder with their rear view mirror just to pass you, and then you pass them at a stop light because they are in so much traffic.
Now, I know hate is a strong word, but I hate riding out there. As a cyclist you feel alone and almost in danger because you chose this as your form of transportation. Metal cage with a motor VS. skin cage with human power... who do you think will win in a crash. Stuuuuupid, cars.
I recently read an article in the NY times about cars and bikes on the road. Now, every state has their specific guidelines on bikes and cars on the road, but this is pretty standard.
Cars and Bikes Can Mix, When the Rules of the Road Are Clear (read it here)
All in all, yesterday was a good 20+ mile day, but it wasn't one to note LOVE. Sorry.