Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Father's Advice

"Always expect the other vehicle to do the stupidest thing possible and you will always be safe." - Cecil W. Brady, Jr.

My Dad didn't always have much in the way of worldly advice, however I do remember a few dirty jokes, and a few 'songs' that shouldn't be repeated. Ever. However, the advice above has always been with me. I can't tell you the number of times that it has saved me an accident both in a vehicle and on the bicycle.

One place that I've always felt pretty safe is stop lights. If there is a place that I have always scanned with my peripheral vision quickly and merrily went on my way, it's a stop light. Enter yesterday at noon.

I was on my way to the Dakota Dome for my cycling workout. There is a new stop light by the Law School (Rose St.) that is a nice addition, because at noon it can be a bear getting across Cherry St. and it's not as busy a light from the North/South as Dakota St. -- hence, it's a great light for bicycles.

As I dropped off the side walk between the Business School and the Law School the light changed. That gives me all of about ten seconds to get across the street before it changes. I put the hammer down as the countdown commenced: 10....9.....8....7....6....5....Awesome! Going to make it with plenty of time! As I focused on the countdown and I was zipping across Cherry St., out of the corner of my eye I see a Blue Minivan type vehicle - newer style - coming WAY too fast. Yep, it's not stopping. I'm going to get thumped. I swerved as far to the left as I could (thank goodness no car was coming towards me) as the driver FINALLY noticed me and locked it up.

I would LOVE to report to you the license plate that I've become so famous for calling out, but I was so close to the van all I could see was a guy in his uniform (Army? ROTC?) and beret in the passenger seat. Far too close to SEE the license plate. I got a quick glance back at the driver and it appeared that he was on a cell phone (SHOCKING!) but I couldn't confirm that as I was too busy being amazed that I didn't get hit.

I should have stopped, but my adrenaline was on high and I just pedaled on. I did look back and hold my arm out in a "What the heck was you thinking?" motion. The van was still stopped in the middle of the intersection briefly before deciding that being in the MIDDLE of the intersection wasn't the place to be and he went on. There is a part of me that hopes this near accident encourages this person to cut down their distractions when they drive. It just may save a life. It may be mine.

Dad, I miss you but I'm not coming to join you just yet. Thanks for some of the best advice I ever received and it now will be applied at stop lights as well.


Snakebite said...

If you can't post the license plate number you should at least regale us with a few jokes or "songs."

Unknown said...

Glad to hear the van stopped in time. Maybe dad was helping pull the reigns back. : )

FunkyMama said...

so, more or less, the driver ran a red light?

bikingbrady said...

They would have. Instead they ended up parked in the middle of the intersection.

Snakebite...a couple of beers at Monk's and you might get to hear a couple of those songs.

Bald-n-Surly said...

There once was a man from Vermillion...