|The most dangerous thing I've seen on my bike in weeks (actually dangerous, rather than assumed)|
Almost universally, when people who don't ride their bicycles to work find out that I do, their reaction is: "isn't that dangerous?" Some people resort to telling me that it is so risky that I should not even do it. Usually punctuated with an anecdote of a friend of a friend who was run down by a crazed hybrid driver possessed by an anti-lycra psychosis. Non-riders conjure up a lot of scenarios which don't actually occur. The popular conception of the dangers of cycling is completely whacked out, compared to the reality.
On the other hand, something that is actually dangerous: big steel plates used to cover up construction excavation. Holy sweet mother of rotating spoked wheels those things give me the shivers. Hit one on skinny tires and even breathe on your brakes: you're going down. Ride over one in the rain: you're going down. Realize you are about to ride across one and try to turn just a little bit too late: yep, going down. In this case, fly out of the bike lane and lean into a right turn...BAM. In the daytime you can see them in time, but at night, in the rain, on a route where they were just installed: shivers.
This is in a neighborhood where I see a lot of kids riding bicycles. They wouldn't leave a deep hole this size in the middle of an area where they played, so why would they do this in the street where kids ride? Because cars drive right over these with no issues.
Right on the corner, too. Man, that right turn off the end of the bike lane is gonna hurt. This is when the foolishness of popular thought results in danger out of blind indifference. This was just down the street from a DRIVE SLOW sign stuck in a yard. How about a STEEL CRASH PLATES AHEAD sign instead. Get up. Go ride.