Okay, I have been riding for decades, and every bike rider has had close calls with and other on-road mishaps. I was riding last night, just before sunset, beautiful ride on the Belt Parkway bike path to Crossbay and back before dark. Anyway, on the return trip, I decided to get off the Belt at Rockaway Parkway and go around Canarsie via Seview Ave, rather than taking the Belt to Flatbush.
Anyway, I make the right on to Seview heading West, and I was going against traffic because traffic was really light and it was a nice ride. So I decided to switch after a block to go with traffic, and some maniac motorist flew by as I did so. Two things really disturbed me about this, and actually kept me up last night:
The first, and most important, was that not only did I have no clue this guy was there, but the only reason I knew it at all was literally feeling the wind-draft his car made as it passed me. He didn't beep or so much as move to change lanes, and if I had to guess, I am thinking he actually sped up and decided to play chicken with me, probably thinking that I was challenging him or something. The second was that I thought I looked both ways when crossing, but in reality, I realized afterward that had I actually looked, I would likely have seen him roaring down the street at well over 60 miles per hour in a 30.
Now, forget about the fact that this guy is an idiot. Had he hit me and not just came within literal inches (to the point where I actually felt the wind his car created) I would likely be dead. So small comfort that he was wrong to drive that way. The reality is that I should have seen him, period, but I didn't. I think my problem is that I try to maintain a constant speed and pedaling in a city where I should become accustomed to stopping or at least slowing down a lot more. Another problem is I think I may have a little ADHD and I think that there are rare instances where I actually "forget" to look, which could have deadly consequences. The point is I don't care how wrong he was, I should have seen him and I simply didn't. No way can a driver be barreling down the road like this and I just miss it until it is either too late, or I just get incredibly lucky, as I did last night.
Any advice for increasing safety on the roads?