Newsletter - 2020 Archive

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November Flatlander: Blind Drivers, Charging Canines
Permanent #18, 203 km
Ride Date: November 2, 2020
by Karen Smith

I had a chilly start in a foggy 3 degrees. But it turned into a gorgeous sunny day!
I had a high of 16 degrees and it cooled off to 9 at the finish, but it felt much colder. It always feels colder when the sun goes down, especially if you stop.

On South Parallel I rode through a long tunnel of bugs! I have ridden through walls of bugs before, and they end pretty quickly. This went on and on. For kilometres I could feel them hitting my face, and pinging on my helmet and glasses. I have never ridden through so many bugs. Even had some in my jersey when I got home.

I had a few construction locations that forced the road to single lane closures. I was usually waved through pretty quickly, but in one place I chose to take a little detour that cost me a kilometre, Oh well…

I had three close calls with vehicles. Each time, they didn’t see me.
Why not? I was wearing a huge bright reflective vest and reflective bands on all my limbs. It’s because they never looked my way!!!
The first time, I was crossing Huntington on 272. I came to a 4-way stop. The big semi on my right had the right of way and went. Then it was my turn and I started. But now a vehicle that had pulled into the same location that the semi just left had decided to go.
Good thing that I have a habit of trying to make eye contact with drivers. I kept looking at him as I was riding toward him. He never even looked my way! I pulled on my brakes as he pulled in front of me. His passenger looked at me. The driver never did! Why not!?
The second time, I was going up the overpass on Whatcom. There was no traffic as I was making my way up, keeping to the right of the lane going up, with an empty right turn lane onto Hwy 1 beside me. Suddenly a vehicle came up the left of me and turned right to go onto the highway. ???? Right in front of me. ???? Why didn’t he take the right turning lane? Why didn’t he see me?
The third time was on the overpass at Annis Rd. An Eastbound car coming off the highway pulled out right in front of me. Yes, SHE had a stop sign! Again, I looked at her to make eye contact. She never looked at me! The sun had already set, not only did I have all my reflective stuff on, I also had my bright headlight! How did she not see me????

I had 2 incidents with dogs too. The first one was a friendly dog waiting with a family for the school bus along Wellsline Rd. The dog suddenly bounded towards me but the family called him back very quickly and on I went.
Then at the bottom of Olund, a large, very unfriendly black dog charged at me growling. I jumped off my bike and put my bike between the dog and me. Again the owner was able to call the dog quickly. But it was very unnerving.

I rode solo.
I only went in 3 businesses: Lee’s Market in Ft Langley to get some Mac & Cheese, Yellow Barn in Abbotsford for a sandwich and drink and to go to the bathroom, and the Gas Station at Popkum to go to the bathroom.

It was a tough day for me. My legs were really heavy, and I felt like I had nothing to give.
I found the last hour in the dark, on the farm roads, very hard. It seemed like there were more than usual headlights coming towards me. I guess I’m not used to it.
I sound like I’m whining….

Happy to be done November,
: )

Some harvest humour on Permanent 18

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November 5, 2020