I've been an urban cyclist for about 15 years, first in Toronto and now, Chicago. (I'm trying to see how far I'm can go without ever owning a car!) After nearly getting wiped out last week by a car running a red on Lakeshore Drive in Chicago (think interstate highway with a set of lights that allows pedestrians/cyclists to access the lakeshore bike path), I've been feeling a little less intrepid lately. I've been harassed (as a cyclist and as a woman cyclist) by pedestrians throwing sticks in my wheels, guys reaching out of car windows to pinch my butt, motorists throwing beer bottles at my head, and SUV drivers wanting to engage in fistfights (along with suffering more than a few dumb wipe outs), but for some reason this last experience has left me a little shakey in traffic--a liability to any urban cyclist. So...
as I head into my umpteenth season of winter biking with a little less enthusiasm than in previous years, I thought I'd join the forum to gain some of that enthusiasm back.