Em ơi! #351: Hardly Ever

What, never?

I swear I will have a post which is not about my ankle soon. I actually have a comic drawn but not inked which is about philosophy. So maybe by the weekend that will be ready to go.  I’m actually back to running on a limited (i.e., 3-5 miles at a time) basis; no speed work yet, I’m just happy to be back on my feet after seven fucking weeks.  Don’t tell my PT.

Today I biked home at 17:15. Not too late, but now that daylight has been saved again the sun sets at 16:30 around these parts. I have a light on my bike, but before today I’d only tested it in somewhat “low light” conditions, like biking on a cloudy, foggy day, so I wasn’t really sure how well it was going to do in the total darkness.

A lot of the bike path between campus and my house has no street lamps. It turns out that my lamp, which is a little bluish-white LED, casts just enough light that I can see the edge of the path and the centerline and that’s about it. I have no reference for how fast I’m going beyond my own feelings of exertion. I have no idea what that crash in the undergrowth was–someone’s dog? A bear?

There are bears around here.

Eventually I turned off the bike path and onto the street for about the last three miles to my house. It’s hard to explain if you’re not a biker how weird and scary it feels to be biking down these streets at night, knowing that the blinking red LEDs on the back of my helmet are all that are protecting me from a broken neck. Drivers just don’t understand the power that their cars have, or they over-estimate their reaction speeds or their ability to multi-task. That’s why, despite all the studies of how stupid it is to text or talk on a cell phone and drive at the same time, people still do it. I see it all the time when I run in the morning, people on their cell phones swerving into the bike lane and out of it.

When you’re on foot, running against traffic, it’s easy to feel like you have some measure of control. If someone swerves into your path, you can see them coming. You have the option of throwing yourself into the ditch. When you’re biking, you go with traffic, so they come from behind you. You are also clipped to the bike.  Picture this: You are making your way down a hill between street lights and suddenly headlights from behind overwhelm your little light. You think that this could be it, they could be texting and just not see you, despite the blinking red LEDs. You brace. And then they pull past you and the darkness closes in again. You and the bike fly onward, silently, in a little blue patch of light, hurtling toward infinity.

I’m filing this comic under RC935.T4 L86 2011 for
Internal medicine–Specialties of internal medicine–Diseases of the musculoskeletal system–Other diseases of the musculoskeletal system, A-Z–Tendinitis.

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