First there was the adrenaline dump and then there was the nausea. It was pretty scary, glad nothing bad actually happened.
9pm on Holcombe Road in Houston near the intersection with Fannin. (Medical Center area for those familiar with Houston). I had picked up my wife from work late Friday because the busses had stopped already. She had not had dinner so we were headed to Wendy's.
Noticed a pair of bicyclists on mountain bikes riding on the sidewalks parallel (westbound) on Holcombe. First rider was male, second was female. Both were on mountain bikes and wearing no helmet. Both were wearing what appeared to be fairly heavy backpacks.
When we turned from Fannin onto Holcombe is when I first noticed them, they were ahead of us and traveling down the sidewalks while we were stuck at a light. I commented to my wife that even on a busy street like this, they would probably be safer riding on the edge of the road rather than the sidewalks. I had no idea how prophetic those words would be.
So our light changed and I was in the right most lane, slowly gaining on the two bicyclists. Just as I was about to pass them the female rider is crossing a side street and swerves out completely accross my lane. I lock up the tires and skid to a halt a few feet from her tire. She give me an embarrassed smile and I try to look sympathetic but to tell you the truth I was terrified.
What I think happened (pure supposition) is that the little ramps on the sidewalk went from being parallel with her direction of travel to being perpendicular so she had to swerve to avoid going straight into a curb at speed. When she swerved, I think the heavy back pack threw her off balance (she almost dropped her bike in front of me).
Glad I was paying close attention. Glad my car has decent brakes. Glad I didn't have to clean someone's blood off my car.