I ignored the weather forecast and chose to ride again today. When I looked at the radar before heading home, it looked like the worst rain was east of my route, and blowing east. It was ten til 7 and pretty gloomy, so I turned on my headlight, tail light and helmet blinkies and headed for home.
It was a really nice ride. Not hot out. Not much traffic. I was in the mood to dawdle. I stopped to chat with a lady walking her Daschsund on the Mead Garden trail. It started to sprinkle as I rolled into Winter Park. Whatever. By the time I got to Mizell and Phelps, it was a steady, light shower. I decided to take Phelps and Palmer instead of Lakemont.
When I got to Palmer, what did my eyes behold? A white bicycle and chevron stencil, right smack in the middle of the lane!
I exclaimed aloud, to no one in particular.
I knew they were coming, but I didn’t know when. I thought we’d have to wait until they finished paving the other half of Palmer.
I turned right onto Palmer and sprinted for the next stencil, riding down the middle of it, pumping my fist in the air. I’m sure the motorist approaching from behind thought I was whacko. I grinned at him when he pulled up next to me at the light. He looked puzzled, clearly not sharing my joy.
My left turn onto Palmer was a bit delayed because the loop detector wouldn’t show me the love until I found the right seam to stand on. All the motorists were turning right and didn’t trip the sensor. By the time I got the green it was starting to rain in earnest. By the end of Bumpy Alley my shoes were full of water and I was in a full fledged frog-strangler, drenched to the core, grinning like a fool and singing goofy sharrow songs (which I’ll keep to myself).
I know normal people don’t get this excited about pavement markings. But I’ve never claimed to be normal.
Seriously. I hope the sharrows do encourage more cyclists to use Palmer, and to use a safe lane position there. And, heck, maybe it will catch on! I also hope to see more sharrows around town. I definitely want to see them replacing door zone bike lanes — to encourage cyclists to ride outside the danger zone, rather than in it like the bike lanes do. More on that topic later.