On nice days, I take my bike to work on the train and then ride it home. On days like today, when it’s raining, I drive to and from work. On the way to work, I take the Edens to 41; however, in the evening, traffic backs up and moves really slowly. To save myself at least fifteen minutes of commuting time on the way home, I drive the route that I ride, taking Sheridan and St. John’s most of the way.
Today, while driving home, I realized how different the route looks from a car versus a bike. When biking, I know almost every curve and hill. I know where to slow down, the spots where I’m likely to run into traffic, and I notice most of the street signs along the way. When driving, I’m too focused on the car in front of me to really notice the street signs or how much time I’ve spent on any particular stretch of road. For instance, Westleigh Rd from Lake Forest College doesn’t seem that long on my bike because I know it so well. But, in my car, I realize I’ve been on Westleigh for what feels like a long time before rounding the bend at the old Barat College campus. I sometimes find myself worried that I made a wrong turn somewhere because I wasn’t paying as close attention as I probably should have.
If I’m not paying close attention, and I know how dangerous that can be for cyclists, what about all of those other drivers out there who may be paying even less attention and have absolutely no regard for cyclists on the road? That’s a scary thought! I really need to start paying better attention behind the wheel, and I can only hope that others are doing the same.