I'm 51 years old. I've been commuting by bike off and on for decades. In the last 8-10 years, I've used my bike for at least 90% of all of my local transportation. I'm an old hand (get it?), and petty much know what I'm doing while riding in traffic.
Today, though, I very nearly killed myself. I was riding on a fairly busy arterial, trying to make a left turn. I looked forward, and it was clear, I looked back to make sure no cars were going to try to pass as I made the turn, looked forward again as I began the turn -and a white van was coming towards me at 40 mph. I'm still irritated with myself that I hadn't noticed it earlier. I reacted very quickly, aborted the turn, let the van pass and then made the turn, all in the space of about two seconds, but this episode gave me pause. First of all, I should have noticed the van earlier than I did. Second of all, I wonder what might have happened had my reaction time been a little slower. I sense that I'm not quite as quick as I used to be, and I'm certain that I'll only continue to get less aware and slower with each passing year. I'm sure I can keep commuting into my 60's at least, but I'll have to make adjustments to my riding style as I continue to become more aged.
So here are my questions:
1. What adjustments should commuters make as they get older and slower?
2. What is the maximum safe age for bicycle commuting?