Apart from biking to work while briefly living in Bozeman , Mt., I've never lived close enough to my place of employment to make commuting feasible. As a result, my riding is pretty much for pleasure and cardio, and I tend to take the " road less traveled"(country roads with relatively little traffic).
Recently, I've been noticing a guy who commutes to work via a rode near my house. What has peaked my curiosity is the fact that this road, while not a major highway or interstate, is nevertheless a one lane, two way highway with a 55 mph speed limit. I see him as he is coming home from work in the evening when there is a heavy, steady stream of traffic zipping by him. Yesterday, out of curiosity (more likely nosiness), I followed him for about 7 miles. He's got a nice CAAD 10 with font and rear blinking lights, but at dusk he is really kind of hard to pick up. There is about a 6 foot wide shoulder on this road but he tends to stay just inside the white line separating the road from the shoulder. As cars pass him they must veer slightly in towards the center line in order to miss him by a couple of feet. As I followed him for the entire 7 miles there was never a moment where traffic was not breathing down his neck and yet he was consistently riding fast and hard and appeared rather oblivious to his plight.
Now all this brings me to the question of how is this guy able to block this out? On the rare occasions I ride briefly on the shoulder of heavily traveled roads, I breath a sigh of relief as soon as I'm off. It's not even so much the fear of getting killed as it is the fear of getting mangled and spending the next 6 months in a hospital and rehab. Just wondering if any of you have similar commutes and how you deal with it.