I was riding home from work.
It was late - It was dark - It was raining.
The visibility wasn't the best, but I was taking my time and actually enjoying the even slower than usual pace. I was in no hurry. I had no place to be. I had no schedule to keep. It was me - the bike - the darkness - the rain. We weren't in each others way. No matter what else the world was doing at that moment - we were coexisting in harmony.
I approached a side street and noticed a car pulling up at that instant. I instinctively tapped the brakes and it was a good thing I did. It wasn't until my headlamp was shining bright in the drivers shocked face that she became aware of my presence. It was too late, they had already pulled out. If I had not slowed down and pulled slightly onto the street they recently vacated, their first inkling of my presence would have been me sliding, none too gracefully I'm sure, across their hood.
Commuting on a bike is dangerous business. I don't do it cause I like flirting with danger. I do it cause I like riding. I take every possible precaution to minimize my risk. I obey the law. I wear bright clothing. I avoid main thoroughfares. My bike is lit up like a Christmas tree. I ride defensively. I like to think that these things reduce my risk. The operative word is "reduce". Yet despite my due diligence, there are times when the unexpected happens. This night I was ready.
Tomorrow morning, despite the close call, I will once again straddle my bike and pedal away. Given the danger, why do I persist in riding? The answer is quite simple really - The alternative is something I cannot and will not brook!