Weird Stuff on the Road: August 26, 2013

We are up to 94 rides logged, and I must say we have learned a lot about how to get around town with the rideboards.  The average wait time is hovering around 7 minutes, and  at some locations it’s under four minutes.  That sure beats waiting for the bus!

We’ve noticed lately that certain conditions on a road spell trouble for the rider.  Road construction is the bane of my existence, since drivers are way too busy looking for the proper lane to pay attention to the girl with the sign.  My theory is that a driver can only pay attention to one unusual or distracting thing at a time.  Here is my list of “weird stuff on the road” that make it harder for us to get rides:

  • Inadequate or ambiguous parking or place to pull over, especially for faster traffic
  • Bicyclists on the road, especially those in tight pants
  • Big scary farm equipment traveling at 15 mph
  • Animals too close to the road
  • Tailgaters- they intimidate the car ahead of them, and are in too big a hurry to pick up a rider
  • Drivers on cell phones- need I say more?
  • Roundabouts-these cause enough panic as it is.

So, how do I get the attention of these poor distracted drivers?  Well, wearing bright colors does seem to help.  I also look for a location downstream from a stoplight where folks can see me while they wait for the light to change.  Tempting as it may be to stand in the cool shade of yonder tree, I am so much more visible in the sunshine, so sunscreen in a must.

Of course, some vehicles are an automatic “no ride” when you see them approach.  Big trucks and commercial vehicles never stop.  Pickups pulling trailers never stop (a common sight in rural Jefferson County).  Pickups with two occupants don’t stop.  Old ladies in the country won’t stop, although old ladies in town will.

See you on the road!