What is it with this city? This is the second close call in six months. I decided to pick up bike commuting again, so I've been riding to school. Tonight I was on a steep downhill, in the bike lane, when a car turned right in front of me. I tried to turn with him but was going too fast to match his turn radius. I hit the car and went down.
Fortunately, God was looking out for me on this one. Thanks, God! Only scrapes and bruises, and I'm going to have to retire my favorite walking shoes, but otherwise I was only shaken up. I couldn't get mad at the car driver -- an undergrad, his eyes big as dinner plates, asking me repeatedly if I was OK. He made a mistake. He's not likely to repeat it after the scare we both got. And that old Trek road bike is built like a tank, so I bent the handlebars and a few other relevant bits back into position and rode it the rest of the way home.
Still, I was in the bike lane, wearing a banana yellow backpack with a red blinkie on it, with a fluroescent blue and orange jacket with glow thread in the seams, and the bike's got a flicker light on the back and headlight on the front. There isn't much more I could have done to make myself visible except ride in the middle of the car lane (instead of the bike lane), which would probably be illegal. (Cal. Veh. Code secs 21208, 21202.)
I dunno. I may have to think long and hard before doing much more bike commuting in this city.