Bike-by viewing

This morning was a good morning for fenders.  While there was no rain on the way to or from my physical therapy appointment, the wet pavement would have made things messy.  The fog also mandated lights and my reflective, high-vis vest (I temporarily ditched the vest to remove my jacket at a stop light, then shoved the vest in my crate when the light turned green before I had a chance to put it on again — thanks to the kind lady in the van who let me know that the vest fell out of my crate).

Given the combination of wet pavement and poor visibility, I took things a bit slower than usual, but still made it to my appointment in plenty of time.  Even though it did not rain at all during the morning commute, the forecast seemed to have scared most other cyclists into other forms of transportation.

On the way home, I took a little detour to bike by a house-of-interest (we’ve been looking for the right place for, oh, four years now, and renting until “the one” comes along).  My detour gave me the opportunity to ride along a stretch of the “new and improved” (ahem) Manchester road.  I didn’t pause to snap my own picture, but, if I had, it would have looked very similar to this photo of the same stretch.

Manchester1_EditedReplace the parked truck (on the right) with two or three different parked vehicles, all smaller, all theoretically capable of fitting within the parking lane so as not to encroach on the “buffer” zone, but yet all somehow not capable of actually parking that way, and replace the garbage truck with a tractor-trailer.

I made a right on red into this mess, with the tractor trailer approaching from the rear, still well behind me when I turned.  I only needed to use Manchester for a block (before making a left turn), and no way was I going to be stuck in that bike lane between the parked cars and the 18-wheeler.  Not happening.

This, of course, put me in the unenviable position of controlling a traffic lane next to a bike lane (which often leads to higher levels of motorist incivility).  Fortunately, the truck driver was patient (as many motorists are), and I was soon to my left turn pocket, leaving him free to continue his trip.

He may very well have appreciated my lane positioning, as it left no chance of me being in his blind spot.  No truck driver every WANTS to be in this position.

That little adventure over, I crossed some seriously whack train tracks (they were in such bad shape that I straddle-walked my bike across, rather than riding) and proceeded on my house-scouting trip.  The result?  Yet another one that probably isn’t the one for us (okay sized yard, but poor sunlight due to a tree on the property next door).  And so it goes.


  1. Is the poor sunlight a people, house-light, or garden consideration? I am guessing #3, but since we live in a home that is dark inside as a result of mature trees and the fact that these things weren’t considered as much in 1939, I think all three are valid considerations.

    I absolutely can see your frustration with a designated bike lane in the situation you found yourself in this morning.

    1. Melissa @ HerGreenLife says:

      In general, the poor sunlight is primarily a garden consideration, which was definitely the case here. However, I have lived in a house with poor natural light, and that is also not ideal.

      The combination of big-enough lot for a very large garden (with good sun, of course) and central-ish, bikeable location at a price we can afford is hard to find. If money were no object, one of the mansions on Lindell across from Forest Park would be lovely (aside from the fact that I wouldn’t really want that much house). In our wanderings in the city and inner-ring suburbs, we’ve scoped out some [affordable] houses that appear to meet our criteria, other than the fact that they’re not for sale.

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